Date of Graduation
College of Education and Human Services
Curriculum & Instruction/Literacy Studies
Affordability of public higher education is a critical issue as the demand for college-educated citizens grows. This study examined the net prices paid by students to determine if affluent families pay less than market rates for public higher education. The history of public funding of higher education in the United States was studied to determine the historical sources of current public higher education funding policies. Current funding practices and the economic benefits of higher education were also examined.;A market theory for the funding streams of public higher education was developed as a framework for the analysis of public higher education finance. Price discrimination theory was used to construct this framework. The instructional services market as well as the markets for value provided to contributors, value provided to governments and the markets to attract students with certain characteristics to provide governmental funds to students were identified.;The relationship between the amounts of tuition and fees minus all grants, veteran, and tax benefits for students enrolled at private and public institutions and adjusted gross income was also examined.;The National Center for Educational Statistic's Integrated Postsecondary Educational Data System and National Postsecondary Student Aid Study and the Common Core of Data were used. In addition, data from the U.S. Census Bureau, Philanthropic Research, Inc., the National Conference of State Legislatures, and the National Association of State and University Land Grant Institutions were utilized.;The results from the instructional services market indicate that the determinants of tuition are similar for public and private institutions. Predictors of in-state tuition for both types of institutions include selectivity, Carnegie Foundation classifications, the per capita tax revenue for the state in which the school is operated and depreciation expenses. For out of state tuition, the common predictors are the same except for the per capita tax revenue for the state in which the school is operated.;The only common determinant of the equations for the market for value provided to contributors is depreciation expenses. Selectivity of private institutions is the only additional significant determinant for this market.;For the market for value provided to state governments, no significant determinants were identified for private institutions. Significant determinants for public institutions in this market are selectivity, the current enrollments as a percentage of the sum of the high-school graduates for the past four years, and depreciation expenses.;In the market for value provided to the federal government, depreciation expenses are determinants for public and private institutions. Additional determinants for private institutions are their status as 1862 land grant institutions and their Carnegie Foundation classifications.;In the market to Attract Students with Certain Characteristics, several common determinants were found for public and private institutions. Students' ages are determinants for all of the equations in this market. For merit-based aid, students' grade point averages are determinants. Adjusted gross income and the statuses of the students in relation to the state within which the schools are located are determinants for need-based aid. For both state and federal government need-based aid, the education levels of students' parents are significant determinants.;The relationship between the amounts of tuition and fees minus all grants, veteran, and tax benefits for students enrolled at private and public institutions and adjusted gross income is significant. This relationship is significant for both in-state and out-of-state students. In addition, the amounts of tuition and fees minus all grants, veteran, and tax benefits for students enrolled at private institutions is significantly higher than the tuition and fees minus all grants, veteran, and tax benefits for students enrolled at private institutions.;Students enrolled at public higher education institutions at all family income levels pay significantly less for their educations than students enrolled at private institutions. This phenomenon indicates that the public higher education markets are inefficient at all levels of family income. The gap between the amounts that students pay at public institutions compared to their counterparts enrolled at private schools is greater for students from more affluent families. This indicates that the tuition pricing policies in public higher education are inequitable and they favor higher income families.
Magee, Edward, "The net prices of attendance at public institutions of higher learning and their relationships to family incomes" (2009). Graduate Theses, Dissertations, and Problem Reports. 2884.