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What kind of alumni do low-income students become? An investigation of the relationship between income-status and future alumni involvement

Jerold S Laguilles, University of Massachusetts Amherst

Abstract

As colleges and universities seek to increase the enrollment of low-income students through targeted financial aid strategies, such as no-loans policies, little research has looked into how engaged these future alumni would be as volunteers or donors. Using data from administrative databases at a single institution, this study focused on three alumni outcomes: volunteering, donating, and donation amount over a ten-year period and included sub-sample analyses before and after a no-loans policy was instituted. The main findings revealed that in terms of alumni volunteering, income-status has no apparent effect. With regard to alumni donating behavior, low-income status at enrollment does not appear to be a significant variable. However, low-income status at enrollment is associated with lower donation amounts, both before and after the enactment of a no-loans policy. Middle-income status, on the other hand, is negatively associated with donation behavior and donation amounts but only before the enactment of a no-loans policy. The findings suggest no-loans policies may impact the alumni involvement of individuals from low and middle-income backgrounds in different ways. From a practical standpoint, admissions and financial aid offices should be mindful about how no-loans policies impact the profile of the applicant pools, and advancement offices should think about targeted solicitation efforts that take into account the socio-economic background of alumni at the time of enrollment.^

Subject Area

Higher education administration|Higher education

Recommended Citation

Laguilles, Jerold S, "What kind of alumni do low-income students become? An investigation of the relationship between income-status and future alumni involvement" (2013). Doctoral Dissertations Available from Proquest. AAI3603108.
http://scholarworks.umass.edu/dissertations/AAI3603108

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