Exploring how Pell Grant recipients navigate to degree completion at a selective four-year private university

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Date
2018
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University of Alabama Libraries
Abstract

Supporting bachelor’s degree completion for students from low socioeconomic backgrounds has been a focus for a number of selective four-year colleges and universities. Bachelor’s degree completion rates for recipients of federal Pell Grant funds have been reported by the National Center for Education Statistics for a decade. Statistical data reported fewer Pell Grant recipients have earned a bachelor’s degree in comparison to non Pell students at a number of four-year public and private institutions. The purpose of the study was to better understand how Pell Grant recipients successfully navigated their academic and social experiences to bachelor’s degree completion at a selective four-year private university. As a qualitative exploratory case study, the study was informed by Whiting’s (2006) Scholar Identity Model (SIM) as the conceptual framework that guided the understanding of how Pell Grant recipients through their academic and social identities described their experiences and abilities to navigate to bachelor’s degree completion. Data were collected through interviews with Pell Grant recipients who tracked bachelor’s degree completion by May 2019 at a selective four-year private institution. Review of documents and institutional websites provided additional data for analysis. The findings of the study revealed four emerging themes for understanding how Pell Grant recipients navigate to bachelor’s degree completion. Implications for practice and suggestions for future research were provided.

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Electronic Thesis or Dissertation
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Higher education
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