The Impact of a Post-Secondary Merger on Student Measurements

Date of Award

Fall 2021

Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Business Administration (DBA)

Committee Chair

Charles Saunders

Committee Member

Bora Pajo

Committee Member

Kelly Renner


Higher education has been changing for years as improved online technologies, increased competition globally and domestically, and reduced target populations have increased the competitive environment. Higher education institutions have had to consider merger strategies which are typically associated with corporations. A merger strategy requires a strong understanding of all aspects, including the customer impact or, in the case of higher education, the impact on the student. The purpose of this study was to determine if mergers had an impact on student-related measurements. Integrated Postsecondary Education Data System (IPEDS) ( data was used to identify post-secondary educational institutions that had been part of a merger. Statistical analysis of four dependent variables available in IPEDS, enrollment, retention, graduation rate, and completions, was used to measure the change before and after the merger. The analysis determined that enrollment had a larger number of statistically significant differences. The analysis also showed that in 2010 and 2015 that all dependent variables identified a statistically significant change. While the results did not show that mergers impacted all variables, the data showed that post-secondary educational schools considering a merger as a business strategy must review all aspects of the decision, including the decision's impact on their students.