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How College Affects Students: 21st Century Evidence that Higher Education Works, Volume 3



How College Affects Students: 21st Century Evidence that Higher Education Works, Volume 3


The bestselling analysis of higher education's impact, updated with the latest data

How College Affects Students synthesizes over 1,800 individual research investigations to provide a deeper understanding of how the undergraduate experience affects student populations. Volume 3 contains the findings accumulated between 2002 and 2013, covering diverse aspects of college impact, including cognitive and moral development, attitudes and values, psychosocial change, educational attainment, and the economic, career, and quality of life outcomes after college. Each chapter compares current findings with those of Volumes 1 and 2 (covering 1967 to 2001) and highlights the extent of agreement and disagreement in research findings over the past 45 years. The structure of each chapter allows readers to understand if and how college works and, of equal importance, for whom does it work. This book is an invaluable resource for administrators, faculty, policymakers, and student affairs practitioners, and provides key insight into the impact of their work.

Higher education is under more intense scrutiny than ever before, and understanding its impact on students is critical for shaping the way forward. This book distills important research on a broad array of topics to provide a cohesive picture of student experiences and outcomes by:

  • Reviewing a decade's worth of research;
  • Comparing current findings with those of past decades;
  • Examining a multifaceted analysis of higher education's impact; and
  • Informing policy and practice with empirical evidence

Amidst the current introspection and skepticism surrounding higher education, there is a massive body of research that must be synthesized to enhance understanding of college's effects. How College Affects Students compiles, organizes, and distills this information in one place, and makes it available to research and practitioner audiences; Volume 3 provides insight on the past decade, with the expert analysis characteristic of this seminal work.

List of Figures and Tables ix

Acknowledgments xi

About the Authors xiii

1 Studying College Outcomes in the 2000s 1

2 Development of Verbal, Quantitative, and Subject Matter Competence 23

3 Cognitive and Intellectual Development 105

4 Psychosocial Change 159

5 Attitudes and Values 249

6 Moral Development 331

7 Educational Attainment and Persistence 361

8 Career and Economic Impacts of College 421

9 Quality of Life after College 487

10 How College Affects Students 523

11 Implications for Policy, Research, and Practice 575

Methodological Appendix: Considerations for Research on College Impact 603

References 621

Name Index 729

Subject Index 753