Fall 2023



Degree Name


Primary Advisor/Dissertation Chair

Trish Harvey


Meyer, K. M. (2023). Just Another Education Abroad Gatekeeper: Education abroad administrators’ perspectives on institutional pricing models and how those models impact inclusion efforts. Nearly every institution in the United States offers some form of education abroad opportunity for their students (Hoffa & DePaul, 2010/2016) and surveys often show interest of undergraduate students is high (Manning, 2023). However, interest does not equate to participation. Some of the top factors found in past research include price and financial implications. Little is said about the institutional-level policies and decisions in setting the pricing models that impact the institution, the education abroad office, and the students. To address the literature gap, this grounded theory study explores how administrators see the pricing models and the implications for inclusion in study abroad at private liberal arts institutions in the United States. While the study mainly focuses on one type of institution with the lens of equity for students of low and limited socioeconomic backgrounds, there is intersectionality and takeaways for other institutional types and underserved populations in study abroad. Using a combination of case studies and a larger survey, analysis shows that pricing models are often seen as complex and poorly understood as a structure of the office. In addition, other barriers arose in the form of “shadow budgets” that seek to stem funds from leaving the institution and a lack of regular reviews of models in use. While themes of transparency and the desire to be equitable for Financially-Aware students remain high, the field is not following through on this. Areas for more significant inclusion efforts through standardizing the language around pricing models and Financially-Aware students are discussed, and recommendations for education abroad administrators follow, intending to better understand the impacts of pricing models on the institution, the office, and the students.


inclusion, leadership, institutional-level, policies, pricing model, financial need, education abroad; impact;








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