Theses and Dissertations



Coats, Linda T.

Committee Member

Fincher, Mark Edward

Committee Member

King, Stephanie B.

Committee Member

Hobbs, Phillip Michael

Date of Degree


Original embargo terms

Visible MSU only 6 month

Document Type

Dissertation - Campus Access Only


Community College Leadership

Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D)


College of Education


Department of Industrial Technology, Instructional Design, and Community College Leadership


Financial pressures, encompassing factors such as tuition, fees, books, and work-life balance, consistently substantially influence student success in higher education. Existing research highlights finances' significant role in a student's withdrawal decision. This study aimed to assess the impact of financial aid awards on the retention, persistence, and completion of students enrolled in two community colleges in Alabama, primarily those residing in rural or urban areas. The research focused on the retention and completion outcomes of first-time, full-time students who began their enrollment at two community colleges, UCC and RCC, in the fall of 2017 and received financial aid. Utilizing a quantitative causal-comparative research design, the study analyzed data measuring the retention, persistence, and completion of first-year students who received financial assistance compared to those who did not receive financial aid. A Chi-square test investigated the relationship between financial aid awards and student success. The analysis of the study results revealed that there was no significant difference in the relationship between the retention and completion rates of first-time, full-time students who received financial aid awards and those who did not receive financial aid.