A Postsecondary Revival: The Importance of Religiosity for Postsecondary Enrollment Growth
Neil R. Meredith
West Texas A&M University; American Economic Association
David B. Mustard
University of Georgia - C. Herman and Mary Virginia Terry College of Business - Department of Economics; Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA); University of Georgia Law School
July 20, 2009
Using institutional and state-level data from the National Center for Education Statistics, we explore the degree to which enrollment grows from 1991 to 2005 in religiously affiliated post-secondary institutions relative to their counterparts. After controlling for institutional characteristics, we find that enrollment in religiously affiliated colleges and universities grows 25, 21, and 10 percent more for whites, blacks, and Hispanics, respectively, than institutions that have no religious affiliation. Because simply having a religious affiliation can have little or no bearing on an institution's policies and mission, we evaluate whether the intensity of an institution's attachment also affects enrollment gains. Enrollment gains in institutions in the Council for Christian Colleges and Universities (CCCU), for whom Protestant faith is a direct determinant of institutional mission, are significant. For example, after controlling for other factors total enrollment grows 14.5 percent, white enrollment grows 12.1 percent, black enrollment grows 35.5 percent and Hispanic enrollment grows by 22.8 percent relative to their Protestant peers.
Number of Pages in PDF File: 35
Keywords: education, religion
JEL Classification: Z12, I21working papers series
Date posted: September 10, 2009 ; Last revised: January 11, 2013
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