On Campus

Abstracted: Perceptions of costs and benefits of PSE

The current issue of The Canadian Journal of Higher Education features an article titled Do Perceptions of Costs and Benefits of Post-Secondary Education Influence Participation? Here is the abstract that accompanies the article:

Despite the continuing accumulation of knowledge of the factors influencing participation in post-secondary education, there are still gaps in our understanding. For example, very little is known regarding how perceptions of costs and benefits are implicated in an individual’s decision to pursue college or university studies, and whether certain perceptions hamper access among students from disadvantaged backgrounds. This paper presents the results from a research programme designed to develop and evaluate an operationalization of “perceived return on investment” (PRoI) in post-secondary education, based on students’ subjective considerations of costs and benefits. These results are derived from two key research questions: is it possibly to reliably measure high school students’ perceived return on investment in a post-secondary education, and does the measurement of these perceptions predict actual post-secondary participation? Results show that PRoI can be measured satisfactorily and is predictive of university attendance, net of other factors known to influence participation. The “perception horizon event” model is proposed to account for both positive and negative perceptions of returns on investment.

Reference: Cote, J., Skinkle, R., & Motte, A. (2008). Do perceptions of costs and benefits of post-secondary education influence participation? The Canadian Journal of Higher Education, 38(2), 73-93.

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