Access and Persistence of Students from Low‐Income Backgrounds in Canadian Post‐Secondary Education: A Review of the Literature

51 Pages Posted: 25 Apr 2013

Date Written: May 1, 2008

Abstract

Whether to attend a post‐secondary education (PSE) institution, which one to attend, and how to complete its degree or diploma requirements are extraordinarily complex decisions that are faced by millions of young Canadians. Factors such as financial considerations, family background, information constraints and inherent ability all interact to determine whether or not young Canadians will attend, and ultimately graduate from, any one of the variety of PSE institutions across the country. Until recently, the study of these decisions in Canada has been hindered by a general lack of policy interest as well as the lack of appropriate data to adequately tackle these complex questions. This paper attempts to review the state of knowledge regarding access to and persistence in PSE in Canada, with emphasis on the experiences of students from low‐income families, a group which has historically not benefited from publicly financed PSE as much as those from middle‐ and high‐income families, yet whose participation is seen as fundamental to Canada’s competitiveness in the global knowledge‐based economy. The focus is on the empirical work done is this area in Canada, as well as the United States, since there are many similarities in the educational systems between the two countries and studies in these areas have generally advanced further south of the border. The purpose is to assist researchers in accessing the state of knowledge and seeking new avenues of policy‐relevant research for Canada.

Keywords: Post-Secondary Education, Canada, Access, Persistence

JEL Classification: I21

Suggested Citation

Mueller, Richard E., Access and Persistence of Students from Low‐Income Backgrounds in Canadian Post‐Secondary Education: A Review of the Literature (May 1, 2008). Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2256110 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.2256110

Richard E. Mueller (Contact Author)

University of Lethbridge ( email )

Department of Economics
4401 University Drive
Lethbridge, A.B. T1K 3M4
Canada

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