Social class, finances and changes in attendance at the University of Guelph, 1987-1998

Quirke, Linda
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University of Guelph

This thesis is an investigation of the rising costs of university attendance on students from modest backgrounds. Two surveys are examined. The Incoming Student Survey (ISS) provides data about the social class background of entering students. The Admitted Student Questionnaire (ASQ) provides information about the class background of students admitted to Guelph (whether or not they chose to attend) and their feelings about the cost of attending university. Then data suggest that students from modest backgrounds are more likely to take on debt, worry about paying for their education, be sensitive to cost of attending university, and are less likely to attend the University of Guelph in recent years, compared to their higher-SES counterparts. Qualitative interviews illustrate that students from modest backgrounds are apprehensive about debt and that lack of money is a source of stress, which negatively affects their academic performance.

University of Guelph, changes in attendance, social class, finances