Determining the college destination of African American high school seniors: Does college athletic reputation matter?

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Abstract

This study extends research on college choice by examining what African American students say about the importance of the college's athletic reputation when choosing which school to attend. The authors first examine, among African American students attending four-year colleges or universities, the overall distribution of self-reported factors that, as high school seniors, shaped the selection of their first choice institutions. Then factor analysis was conducted to examine the structure of relations among the diverse factors shaping student preferences and their contribution to understanding variation in the college choice process among African Americans. Finally, logistic regression analyses were undertaken to understand the relationship of athletic reputation with other relevant college selection and access factors. The descriptive results show that roughly one out of every three African American respondents report that a school's athletic reputation is at least a somewhat important consideration in determining their college choice. The factor analysis revealed four common factors - Academic/Career, Economic/Practical, Demographic, and Social. Academic/ Career issues represented the strongest factor, with Social considerations ranked somewhat lower in importance. A college's athletic reputation had the highest loading on the Social factor across analysis groups.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)532-545
Number of pages14
JournalJournal of Negro Education
Volume75
Issue number3
StatePublished - Jun 1 2006

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ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Education
  • Anthropology

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