Institutional inequities in the prevalence of registration sanctions at a flagship public university

Curs et al. / Journal of Diversity in Higher Education / July 2022

This article examines the prevalence of receiving course registration sanctions (i.e., past due balance notification, stop registration hold, and cancel registration order) caused by past due financial balances. The longitudinal data set follows all first-time, first-year students at a public flagship university during their first 2 years of college. We found that course registration sanctions were common at this university, as within the first 2 years of enrollment, 67% of students received a past due balance notification, 35% received a stop registration hold, and 11% received a cancel registration order. Differential patterns in the prevalence of course registration sanctions were evident across student demographic, academic, and financial factors. Specifically, students were significantly more likely to receive a registration sanction if they were: of high financial need, Black or African American, a first-generation college student, and had a lower ACT score. Furthermore, we found that Black and African American students were more likely to receive registration sanctions even after controlling for the size of the past due balance and their financial need. The findings provide evidence of systemic inequities that require institutional intervention.