Electronic Theses and Dissertations




Mario Brown



Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Education


Higher and Adult Education


Higher Education

Committee Chair

Jeffery Wilson

Committee Member

Wiliam Akey

Committee Member

Terry Ishitani

Committee Member

Mitsunori Misawa


The effects of persistence influencers in relation to the Tennessee Education Lottery Scholarship (HOPE), which began in 2004, on students at a private Tennessee university were examined. Post-facto data were extracted from the Tennessee Independent Colleges and Universities Association, National Center for Educational Statistics, and Tennessee Higher Education Commission lottery scholarship databases and reports. This study included data for entering freshmen from the 2004, 2005, 2006, 2007 & 2008 academic years at a private liberal arts institution in the mid-south region of the United States. The main research question for this study is “What influencers are significant in determining persistence for HOPE scholarship recipients at a private university?” Theoretical frameworks were used to identify variables found to significantly contribute to student persistence. Logistic regression was used as the statistical method to examine the effects among the independent and dependent variables. The relative risk estimates were provided as a meaningful way to measure the assessment of change in parameter estimates. The results of this study found that (1) overall, pre-college characteristics are the most significant factors of HOPE recipients in predicting persistence, (2) African-Americans students are less likely to persist and complete degree requirements, and (3) the influence of financial variables (i.e., institutional aid and family income) on student persistence was different from previous research studies. In this study, students who reported higher family incomes tended to persist at lower rates than students from low socio-economic backgrounds. These results suggest that the amount of aid issued to a student may influence persistence decisions more so than family economic status.


Data is provided by the student.

Library Comment

Dissertation or thesis originally submitted to the local University of Memphis Electronic Theses & dissertation (ETD) Repository.