Educational Aspirations and Postsecondary Access and Choice


  • Shouping Hu Seton Hall University



Academic Aspiration, Postsecondary Access, Disadvantaged Youth, Choice


Using data from the National Education Longitudinal Study of 1988 (NELS: 88), this study examines educational aspirations and postsecondary access and choice by students in urban, suburban, and rural schools. In addition, this study raises issues with the methods in postsecondary educational research by using students in different grades (8th, 10th, and 12th grades) as baseline populations to compare educational outcomes. The results indicated that students in urban schools were comparatively disadvantaged in the early years in schooling in terms of postsecondary access but appeared to be enrolled in postsecondary institutions at similar percentages as their suburban counterparts, if they made it to later years in K-12 schooling. For those students in urban schools who went to college, higher percentages were enrolled in private institutions and four-year colleges. Students in rural schools were consistently disadvantaged in postsecondary aspirations and enrollment, compared to students in other schools.


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Author Biography

Shouping Hu, Seton Hall University

Shouping Hu is an Assistant Professor of Higher Education in the Dept. of Education Leadership, Management, and Policy at Seton Hall University. His current research concentrates on postsecondary equity and college student experiences and learning. He has taught graduate-level courses in Higher Education Finance, Education Policy Analysis, The American College Student, and Educational Research Design at Seton Hall.




How to Cite

Hu, S. (2003). Educational Aspirations and Postsecondary Access and Choice. Education Policy Analysis Archives, 11, 14.




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