Dissertations, Theses, and Capstone Projects

Date of Degree


Document Type


Degree Name



Liberal Studies


Juan Battle

Subject Categories

Community Psychology | Developmental Psychology | Educational Assessment, Evaluation, and Research | Educational Methods | Educational Sociology | Education Policy | Higher Education | Human Ecology | International and Comparative Education | Secondary Education | Social Statistics


higher education, socioeconomic status, quantitative methods, student motivation, postsecondary application process, Asian Americans


Higher education recruitment rates are rapidly declining as schools are stymied by dynamic demographic shifts and a competitive ecosystem. Despite the constant realities of this challenge for tertiary institutions, the complexities of the interplay for demographics, student motivation, parental influences, and school environments during the postsecondary education application process is often overlooked. This thesis analyses how these four domains impact Asian American students within the Education Longitudinal Study (ELS) in terms of the number of postsecondary schools to which they apply? This study examines a sample (N = 662) of the ELS by employing multivariate regression analysis on the number of postsecondary schools to which these students apply to during the first round of applications. The analysis suggests that parental implications are not significant influencers for these students as previous literature suggests. The paramount predictors in this process are socioeconomic status and students’ belief in their own potential. Although every system involved in this progression impacts this critical process, special effort should be made by scholars, educators, administrators, and policymakers to continue to develop policies and practices that support these primary postsecondary education application influencers of socioeconomic status and self-aspirations.