Higher Education: A Conspiracy? How Students View Their Chances At A Four-Year Institution


  • Faye Allard Union County College
  • Sangeeta Parashar Montclair State University




conspiracy, four-year, graduation, higher education


Many students in four-year-degree institutions do not graduate within the stipulated time period. In this paper, we address a growing student explanation for this phenomenon: A "conspiracy" by university administrators to deliberately delay graduation by implementing poor academic advising in order to profiteer from student haplessness. It draws upon findings from a larger study exploring undergraduates' usage and perceptions of as well as satisfaction with academic advising. The study was conducted in 2011 at a rapidly expanding mid-size public university in the Northeast. We utilize a mixed methodology with an online survey (3,331 respondents) and in-depth focus groups (103 participants). The paper concludes with policy implications and suggestions.

Author Biographies

Faye Allard, Union County College

Faye Allard, Ph.D., recipient of the 2013 NACADA Faculty Advising Award, is an assistant professor of sociology at Union County College in Cranford, New Jersey. She can be reached at faye.allard@ucc.edu.

Sangeeta Parashar, Montclair State University

Sangeeta Parashar, Ph.D., is an assistant professor of sociology at Montclair State University in Montclair, New Jersey. She can be reached at parashars@mail.montclair.edu.


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