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Use of Performance-Merit-Based Awards in Recruiting Music Students

Carson, Wilton (2020) Use of Performance-Merit-Based Awards in Recruiting Music Students. Doctoral Dissertation, University of Pittsburgh. (Unpublished)

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This qualitative study explores first-time, first-year music majors experiences with performance-merit-based scholarship awards, how the awards affected their college decision, and those experiences related to admission professionals’ understanding and perceptions. In order to meet enrollment goals admission professionals in schools of music need to understand music majors’ perceptions of financial aid and scholarships. The purpose of this study is to provide greater insight and evidence for admission professionals as they work across campuses to improve yield. The inquiry question that guided this study was: how important are performance-merit-based scholarships in the decision-making process? The study included individual interviews with seven admission professionals and 19 first-time, first-year music majors, from doctoral research universities with schools of music across the country. The music majors and admission professionals who took part in this study indicate that performance-merit-based scholarships are very important. Performance-merit-based awards factor into the decision to attend an institution because they not only reduce out-of-pocket costs for music majors, they also offer a perception that the institution wants the music major to attend. This study provides insights into how undergraduate applicants to schools of music at large universities understand and use scholarships in their decision-making process. The study achieves the goal of providing a deeper understanding of how two important sets of stakeholders, admission professionals and music majors, understand the use of performance-merit-based awards in the admission and decision process. This study concludes with a discussion of implications for practice that admission professionals can use to guide future discussions, both internally (among university units discussing scholarship practices) and externally (with prospective and admitted music majors discussing scholarship opportunities).


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Item Type: University of Pittsburgh ETD
Status: Unpublished
CreatorsEmailPitt UsernameORCID
Carson, Wiltonwcc20@pitt.eduwcc20
ETD Committee:
TitleMemberEmail AddressPitt UsernameORCID
Committee ChairFerketish, B.
Committee MemberColwell,
Committee MemberAkiva,
Committee MemberPerry,
Date: 7 July 2020
Date Type: Publication
Defense Date: 8 May 2020
Approval Date: 7 July 2020
Submission Date: 29 May 2020
Access Restriction: No restriction; Release the ETD for access worldwide immediately.
Number of Pages: 123
Institution: University of Pittsburgh
Schools and Programs: School of Education > Administrative and Policy Studies
Degree: EdD - Doctor of Education
Thesis Type: Doctoral Dissertation
Refereed: Yes
Uncontrolled Keywords: Admission, Financial Aid, Merit-based Scholarship, Music Major, Performance-based Scholarship, Scholarship
Date Deposited: 07 Jul 2020 19:03
Last Modified: 07 Jul 2020 19:03


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