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Administrative Issues Journal

Abstract

Adult enrollment in higher education institutions has grown significantly during the last decade, with students aged 25 and older attending 4-year institutions at higher rates than before. In the 21st century, few can improve their socioeconomic status or advance professionally without higher education. Colleges and universities must consider this diverse student population by identifying new modes of motivation for students to pursue degrees at 4-year institutions. Research suggests that universities focus on the new learners of higher education: nontraditional students who are motivated by their desire to learn and advance professionally. This study examined motivational factors and patterns of students who pursued degrees in accounting, finance, management, marketing, or general business programs at a university in Texas. The survey results indicated that most participants worked 31 to 40 hours per week, and one-third had incomes of $60,000 and above. The researchers found a statistical multivariate effect of income on motivation to pursue a degree; however, no statistical difference existed among gender, age, occupation, or program of study.

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