Campus Location

Dallas Campus (Online)

Date of Award


Document Type



Educational Leadership

Degree Name

Doctor of Education

Committee Chair or Primary Advisor

Tara Hornor

Second Committee Member or Secondary Advisor

Scott Self

Third Committee Member or Committee Reader

Karmyn Downs


The relationship between the use of discriminatory recruitment procedures against low-income unrepresented minority (URM) students at four-year private institutions based on enrollment managers’ and college recruiters’ beliefs, self-efficacy, and behavioral intentions was this study’s focus. Specifically, the following were investigated: (a) how enrollment managers perceive their role in recruiting low-income URM students, (b) how college recruiters understand their role in recruiting low-income URM students, (c) the effective strategies enrollment managers use to prepare recruiters for recruiting low-income URM students, and (d) the differential impact in recruiting low-income URM students versus their counterparts. A supporting factor explored further in this study is how college choice plays a part in this student population’s motivation to seek higher education. Purposive sampling was used in this study to identify four four-year universities in the United States and to identify enrollment manager and recruiter participants from these institutions. Data were collected through semistructured interviews regarding enrollment managers’ and college recruiters’ roles, document analysis of strategic enrollment management plans, and institutional enrollment data from the Integrated Postsecondary Education Data System. For this multicase study, nine enrollment managers and college recruiters with experience in admissions and recruitment were selected. Through narrative analysis, five themes were developed: the enrollment manager career, the college recruiter career, the low-income URM students, the recruiting of low-income URM students, and professional development. The findings indicated minimal discrimination in the recruitment procedures used based on enrollment managers and college recruiters’ beliefs, self-efficacy, and behavioral intentions about this student population and that this student population receives more hands-on guidance and support in the recruitment processes at these institutions than their more affluent peers. Results further reflected how enrollment managers and college recruiters’ beliefs about the hindering obstacles low-income URM students face influenced their behavioral intentions to cater more to this student population in the recruitment process. A recommendation for enrollment managers and college recruiters is to use servant and authentic leadership to support low-income URM students in the recruitment process.

Keywords: recruitment, underrepresented minority (URM) student, enrollment management, student of color, college recruitment, private university, college choice

Creative Commons License

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 4.0 License.



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