Master of Arts in Higher Education (MAHE) Theses

Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Arts (MA)

First Advisor

Todd Ream

Second Advisor

Scott Gaier

Third Advisor

Drew Moser


Tuition discounting and student loan debt are two topics in United States higher education of growing concern among practitioners. Both of these financial constructs affect the overall cost of college and how students pay for their education. Bringing both concepts together, the purpose of the study was to explore quantitatively a relationship between tuition discounting and student loan debt at faith-based institutions. Specifically, the study examined the relationship of these two financial constructs at member institutions of the Council for Christian Colleges & Universities (CCCU). The definition of tuition discounting employed is the practice of providing non-repayable institutional grants and scholarships to offset published tuition prices. Student loan debt, a repayable form of aid, in the study focuses primarily on students who participate in Title IV financial aid programs through the federal government. Utilizing data gathered from the Integrated Postsecondary Education Data System (IPEDS), findings from the statistical analysis conducted displayed a statistically significant relationship between student loan debt and tuition discounting at faith-based institutions. Further exploration of the effect of published tuition price on this relationship indicated an increase in statistical significance of the relationship between the two constructs as the published tuition price increases. Given these results, the study provides information to be used in the decision-making of senior-level administrators as tuition discounting impacts students’ ability to attend higher education.