Date of Award


Publication Type

Master Thesis

Degree Name




First Advisor

Towson, Shelagh,


Education, Higher.




The purpose of the present study was to determine students' reasons for choosing to attend a southwestern Ontario university and the extent to which the bases for their choice were similar to those of students at other institutions. Participants were 614 first-year university students enrolled in an introductory psychology course who completed a questionnaire. Factor analysis of students' reasons for attending revealed five factors: Skill Development, Personal Development, Socializing, Pressure from Others, and Advancement. Factor scores were subjected to cluster analysis, revealing five clusters of students attending for different reasons. The Well-Rounded cluster were motivated primarily by Socializing, Skill Development, and Advancement reasons. The primary motive of the Moratorium cluster was Personal Development. The Self/Goal Directed cluster had reasons of Personal Development, Skill Development, and Advancement. The Pressure cluster was motivated by Pressure from Others. Finally, the Disengaged cluster had no positive reasons for their attendance but a strong negative association with Personal Development. These clusters were described in terms of various demographic variables, parent and student attitudes toward education, and institutional characteristics. "Hot buttons," motives agreed to by 75% of the students across the majority of clusters, were found to be Career, Learning, and Personal Development. The relative advantages of factor, cluster, and "hot button" analyses are discussed in terms of student recruitment, retention, and satisfaction. Source: Masters Abstracts International, Volume: 39-02, page: 0333. Adviser: Shelagh Towson. Thesis (M.A.)--University of Windsor (Canada), 2000.