Date Thesis Awarded


Access Type

Honors Thesis -- Access Restricted On-Campus Only

Degree Name

Bachelors of Arts (BA)




Peter McHenry

Committee Members

David Feldman

Katie Lopresti


This study examines the overrepresentation of female students at for-profit colleges. I use both the High School Longitudinal Study of 2009 (HSLS:09) and Integrated Postsecondary Education Data System (IPEDS) data. First, I use the HSLS to explore characteristics of for-profit students and to show differences in financial aid offered by for-profit colleges compared to other higher education institutions. Next, I use the HSLS to estimate a multinomial logit model to determine what factors influence students’ choices to attend for-profit colleges over other types of colleges. I find that after controlling for preexisting student characteristics, female students are still significantly more likely to attend for-profit colleges. Finally, I use IPEDS data to explore program type as a potential explanation for the gender gap. By calculating the overrepresentation of female students at for-profit colleges conditional on program type, I find that program type explains a significant portion of the gender gap at less-than-four-year for-profit colleges.

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Creative Commons License
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