Low-Income Mature Students in Canadian Postsecondary Institutions: Who They Are and Why They Matter

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Fritz, Victoria A
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University of Guelph

The purpose of this thesis was to deepen understanding of low-income mature students in Canadian postsecondary institutions. Using data from the 2011 Survey of Labour and Income Dynamics, provincial enrolment was explored in order to provide context. Secondly, descriptive statistics were used to create a profile of low-income mature students based on individual, family and institutional characteristics. Lastly, chi-squares and t-tests were used to examine gender and institutional differences among each of the profiled characteristics. Many characteristics of low-income mature students were found to be shared by mature students and low-income students (e.g., employment while in school and the strong influence of maternal education level); however, it was also found that mature students differed in several ways (e.g., gender and enrolment status), suggesting that mature low-income students are themselves a unique group. This thesis is the first look at low-income mature students in Canada, and demonstrates that further study of this unique group is required.

access, education, postsecondary, mature, low-income, low-income mature, student, college, university