Date of Graduation


Document Type


Degree Type



College of Education and Human Services


Curriculum & Instruction/Literacy Studies

Committee Chair

Rodney Hughes

Committee Co-Chair

Nathan Sorber

Committee Member

Erin McHenry-Sorber

Committee Member

Miguel Olivas-Lujan


Despite occupying a growing portion in contemporary U.S. higher education institutions’ annual budgets, empirical research on sexual assault costs is limited. The purpose of this study is to look at whether incidences of sexual violence on campus are associated with increased costs in policies and programs geared toward prevention of these crimes. Informing the analysis is a theoretical framework consisting of the revenue theory of costs and positional arms race theory. This study examines data from both IPEDS and the U.S. Department of Education Crime and Safety website over a ten year period, 2006-2015, for a set of over 2,300 public and private four-year institutions and over 1,000 public and private two year institutions. Through the use of multiple regression this dataset will be assessed over time to analyze any changes in spending associated with crime on campus the year prior. In addition, a survey was sent to all available schools’ Title IX Coordinators or Director of Student Service personnel. Results of this study found that there is a significant positive association between the number of prior year crime reports and institutions’ subsequent spending on student services (e.g. counseling) and institutional support (e.g. addition of personnel). These results will have important implications related to understanding and managing institutional support and student service spending related to sexual assault across U.S. higher education institutions.