Agenda-Setting and Agenda-Building in Higher Education

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Title:
Agenda-Setting and Agenda-Building in Higher Education An Examination of the Relationships among Print Media, Public Relations, and Federal Student Financial Aid
Physical Description:
1 online resource (220 p.)
Language:
english
Creator:
Parish, Nancy
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University of Florida
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Gainesville, Fla.
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Thesis/Dissertation Information

Degree:
Doctorate ( Ph.D.)
Degree Grantor:
University of Florida
Degree Disciplines:
Higher Education Administration, Human Development and Organizational Studies in Education
Committee Chair:
Mendoza, Maria Del Pilar
Committee Members:
Eldridge, Linda Burney
Campbell, Dale Franklin
Kiousis, Spiro K

Subjects

Subjects / Keywords:
agenda-building -- agenda-setting -- aid -- education -- financial
Human Development and Organizational Studies in Education -- Dissertations, Academic -- UF
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Higher Education Administration thesis, Ph.D.
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theses   ( marcgt )
government publication (state, provincial, terriorial, dependent)   ( marcgt )
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Electronic Thesis or Dissertation

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Abstract:
This study examined the relationships of presidential controlled communication, higher education advocacy groups’ controlled communication, newspapers, a trade publication, and a newswire on federal student financial aid during President Obama’s first 31/2 years in office. Most specifically, this study employed agenda-setting and agenda-building theory. This study serves as a foundation for future research linking agenda-setting and agenda-building theories to higher education. Moreover, it adds to the sparse body of literature which connects higher education to the mass media.Quantitative content analysis using DICTION 6.0 and descriptive statistics were employed to determine issue saliency, the relationships between, as well as the tones used by the controlled communication and news coverage of federal student financial aid during President Obama’s first 3-1/2 years in office. Twelve speeches and policies were analyzed in this study. Additionally, two four week time-lags were employed. The first time-lag was employed four week prior to each speech or policy. The second time-lag was employed four weeks after each speech or policy. This study found a relationship between controlled communication and the media. Subsequently, this study found that the advocacy groups in this study did not release press releases during three speeches and policies in Time 1 and three speeches and policies in Time 2. Moreover, this study found the valence of tones was predominantly neutral prior to every speech and policy analyzed. On the other hand, the valence of tones for the second time period was predominantly negative. These findings are important to higher education practitioners, researchers, and policy analysts. Prior agenda-setting research has found issues most salient in the media are often the issues most important to the public. Additionally, the valance of the tones used by journalists can be transmitted to the public. How the public perceives higher education, specifically federal financial aid has implications to both practice and policy
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In the series University of Florida Digital Collections.
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Includes vita.
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Includes bibliographical references.
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Description based on online resource; title from PDF title page.
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This bibliographic record is available under the Creative Commons CC0 public domain dedication. The University of Florida Libraries, as creator of this bibliographic record, has waived all rights to it worldwide under copyright law, including all related and neighboring rights, to the extent allowed by law.
Statement of Responsibility:
by Nancy Parish.
Thesis:
Thesis (Ph.D.)--University of Florida, 2013.
Local:
Adviser: Mendoza, Maria Del Pilar.
Electronic Access:
RESTRICTED TO UF STUDENTS, STAFF, FACULTY, AND ON-CAMPUS USE UNTIL 2013-11-30

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lcc - LD1780 2013
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UFE0045257:00001


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1 AGENDA SETTING AND AGENDA BUILDING IN HIGHER EDUCATION: AN EXAMINATION OF THE RELATIONSHIPS AMONG PRINT MEDIA, PUBLIC RELATIONS AND FEDERAL STUDENT FINANCIAL AID By NANCY BENTON CAROLINE PARISH A DISSERTATION PRESENTED TO THE GRADUATE SCHOOL OF THE UNIVERSITY OF FLORIDA IN PARTIAL FULFILLMENT OF THE REQUIREMENTS FOR THE DEGREE OF DOCTOR OF PHILOSOPHY UNIVERSITY OF FLORIDA 2013

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2 2013 Nancy Benton Caroline Parish

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3 To all who he ey, thank you and God bless you

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4 ACKNOWLEDGMENTS New American Bible). It is an insurmountable feeling to be writing these acknowledgements. To be abl e to put into words the many heartfelt thanks is a challenge. All of you have touched my heart in various ways and I am extremely grateful for your kindness and support. First and foremost, I thank God for being my wind beneath my wings. These past four ye ars have seen many blessings and challenges. It is through Him that I receive rest, strength, and love. I thank the Father, who is the Son and Holy Spirit, for being my voice when I cannot speak, for providing confidence when I am afraid, holding me when I am hurt, carrying me when I cannot walk, and for comforting me in times of loneliness and sadness. He is my strength, my guidance, my hope, and my best friend. He is everything the Way, the Truth, and the Life. My 21 year old dream of obtaining a PhD w ould not have become realized if it economic capital, and prayed for me. Their sacrifices during my academic journey have not gone unnoticed. Words can never express how tha nkful I am for all of what they have done. To my mum, Helen Caroline Tracy Parish, I thank her for encouraging me to reach for the stars. Her words of wisdom, patience, sacrifices, prayers, and never ending supply of love helped me make my dream come true. To my father, Neil R. Parish, it is through his example I have learned the value of a strong work ethic. I thank my dad for his steadfast love and quiet support. I will continue to make him proud. To my brother, Mike, I thank him for being a wonderful big brother. Despite our differences in college allegiances, his support throughout this endeavor has never wavered. Lastly,

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5 to my best friend, my partner in crime, my sister, my soul mate, and probably the only living being who knows all my secrets: Jessie P earl. T here will never be another like her I thank her for teaching me how to love life and how to accept adversity with grace. There is not a day that I do not think of her and remember the joy and love she brought to our family. She was simply amazing. God has blessed me with an extended family, who, no matter where I am, I know I can count on for prayers and support. I am very blessed not only to call this person my bishop, but also my friend, my mentor, and my second dad: the Most Reverend Terry R. La Valley, DD, JCL. There are no words that can describe how grateful I am for all he has done for me. From the initial email describing how happy he was for me in receiving my fellowship to his latest words of encouragement, he always has been there. When Go d elevated him from priest to bishop, I thought he would have too many souls to save; thus, he would have less of a presence in my life. However, this was not the case. Despite his busy schedule, he continued to provide prayers, support, guidance, encourag ement, and laughter. He listened and he read, sometimes between the lines, a major part of my life these past four years, I would have not finished my degree at UF I t hank Bishop T. for everything. Also, I owe much appreciation to Sr. Mary Teresa LaBrake, GNSH, for her prayers and encouragement. Moreover, I am very blessed to have found a friend and fellow mass communication scholar in the Reverend Tony Eseke. His love, support, guidance, prayers, and words of encouragement helped me in my darkest days. This kept me going when I was frustrated. Additionally, I thank all members of the consecrated life

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6 and priests who have prayed and cheered me on throughout this bumpy, b ut blessed prayers, support and love. These mean the world to me. And to my ho me away from hand on this journey. I am truly indebted to and thankful for my dissertation committee. To my adviser, Dr. Pilar Mendoza, for her kindness, support and g uidance she showed me not only throughout my dissertation writing, but also as her research and teaching assistant. To Dr. Spiro Kiousis, for his knowledge and expertise in agenda setting and agenda building theories, content analysis, statistics, and pers uasion. His support and guidance throughout this project and my doctoral degree has made this journey worthwhile. I am thankful t o Dr. Linda Eldridge fo r her kind words and enthusiasm Also, I am thankful to Dr. Dale Campbell for his support during this stu dy. organizations that supplied their press releases and news releases. I thank Mollie Benz Flounlacker from the Association of American Universities (AAU) David Blaime from t he Am erican Association of Community Colleges (AACC) Stephanie Gleseke from the National Association of Independent Colleges and Universities (NAICU ) Sang Han from the A ssociation of P ublic and L and g rant U niversities (APLU) and Jennifer Dawn Walpole from th e American Association of State Colleges and Universities ( AASCU ) Additionally, I thank Jon Fansmith from the American Council of Education ( ACE ) who provided the initial contacts to all of the Big Six advocacy groups and for providing

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7 valuable insight i nto higher education advocacy and policy. Also, I thank my three coders, Brittany Matthews, Tim Nugent, and Heddie Robson. Their time in this painstaking matter is much appreciated. There is one more blessing that must not go unmentioned. God has blessed me with some of the most amazing friends. Some of them have been in my life for a very long time, while others were met during the past four years. I give much appreciation to my good friends Fred Boating, Dr. Vanessa Bravo, Dr. Mike Eaves, Uttam Gaulee, D r. Eric Grabowsky, Italo Lenta, Dr. Zaria Malcolm, Natasha Patterson, Kellie Roberts, Laura Schmid, Dr. Molly Stoltz, Weiting Tau, Dr. Laura Waltrip, and HungWei Yu. Also, I thank my friends Dr. Greg Borchard, Dr. Colleen Connolly Ahern, Dr. Amy Zerba, Dr. Jen Cortez, and Dr. Pete Villarreal, III. They made their office hours and meal times available to me as I journeyed through qualifying exams, content analysis, agenda setting, and statistics. Their advice, feedback, and encouragement kept me sane. I wish Additionally, I have been blessed to have three families who became a part of my family as I moved through my graduate education. Jody, Dr. Dave, Meghan, and Kenny Hedge have been instrumental throughout all of my graduate education, as well as during the in between years. I thank them for always being there and for taking care of me. Also, I thank Bill, Maureen, an d Girl Nessmith for opening their home and encouraging me to ke ep going. And, I thank Dr. Michelle, Ja me y and Olivia Darnell for providing support, encouragement, and most of all friendship. Moreover, there is one particular friend who deserves to be mentioned separately. Though her physical presence in my life was cut short by her death, memories of her

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8 and our friendship will remain forever in my heart. I thank Lyndel Bailey for understanding me and for being a shining example of what a woman of Christ really is. She was a wonderful friend and I miss her greatly. Lastly, I would like to thank Donald Fagan and Walter Becker for keeping me company throughout the many late nights and early mornings it took to write this dissertation. Their cerebral lyrics and musical genius inspired me to reach beyond the s hope there is a little bit of IGY in my future. As I close my acknowledgements, I find it most fitting to end with this verse, which finished my course, I have kept the fa

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9 TABLE OF CONTENTS page ACKNOWLEDGMENTS ................................ ................................ ................................ .. 4 LIST OF TABLES ................................ ................................ ................................ .......... 11 LIST OF FIGURES ................................ ................................ ................................ ........ 14 LIST OF ABBREVIATIONS ................................ ................................ ........................... 15 ABSTRACT ................................ ................................ ................................ ................... 16 CHAPTER 1 INTRODUCTION ................................ ................................ ................................ .... 18 Theoretical Framework ................................ ................................ ........................... 20 Purpose of Study ................................ ................................ ................................ .... 22 Research Questions ................................ ................................ ............................... 23 2 LITERATURE REVIEW ................................ ................................ .......................... 25 The History of Federal Student Financial Aid in the United States ......................... 26 The Shift to a Federal Role in Aiding Students ................................ ................. 26 Federal Student Financial Aid Policy: 1930s 1963 ................................ ........... 29 Federal Financial Aid from 1964 1970 ................................ ............................. 32 Federal Student Financial Aid from 1970 1980 ................................ ................ 35 Federal Student Financial Aid Policy from 1980 1998 ................................ ...... 39 Federal Financial Aid from 2000 2008 ................................ ............................. 42 Implications for the Shift from Grants to Loans ................................ ....................... 44 Student Financial Aid Policy under President Obama ................................ ............ 45 Early Development of Agenda Setting Theory ................................ ........................ 49 Agenda Setting Theory Stages ................................ ................................ ........ 51 Attribute Agenda Setting ................................ ................................ .................. 52 The Connection of Agenda Setting with Priming and Framing ......................... 54 Sources of the Media Agenda ................................ ................................ .......... 57 Agenda Setting and Public Opinion ................................ ................................ ........ 58 Policy Agenda Setting/Policy Agenda Building ................................ ....................... 60 Agenda Buil ding and Public Relations ................................ ................................ .... 62 Media Framing in K 12 Education Policy ................................ ................................ 66 Chapter Summary ................................ ................................ ................................ ... 67 3 METHODOLOGY ................................ ................................ ................................ ... 72 Study Design Overview ................................ ................................ ........................... 72 Methods: Quantitative Content Analysis ................................ ................................ 73

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10 Formulate the Hypothesis or Research Questions to Be Answered ................. 76 Select the Sample to Be Analyzed ................................ ................................ ... 77 Define the Categories to Be Applied ................................ ................................ 83 Outline the Coding Process and Train Coders ................................ ................. 84 Implementing the Coding Process ................................ ................................ .... 87 Determine Reliability and Validity ................................ ................................ ..... 89 Analyze the Results of the Coding Process ................................ ...................... 91 Limitations ................................ ................................ ................................ ............... 93 4 FINDINGS ................................ ................................ ................................ ............. 103 Data Analysis: Agenda Setting and Agenda Building ................................ ........... 103 Higher Education Advocacy Groups ................................ ................................ ..... 104 Presidential Controlled Communication ................................ ................................ 109 5 DISCUSSION ................................ ................................ ................................ ....... 165 Summary of the Study Contributions ................................ ................................ .... 165 Review and Purpose of the Research Question ................................ ................... 166 Summary of Findings ................................ ................................ ............................ 168 Advocacy Groups ................................ ................................ ........................... 168 Presidential Controlled Communication ................................ ......................... 172 Media ................................ ................................ ................................ .............. 173 First Level Agenda Setting ................................ ................................ ............. 176 Valence of Tone ................................ ................................ ............................. 179 Valence of tone: Time period 1. ................................ ............................... 179 Valence of tone: Time period 2. ................................ ............................... 182 Limitations ................................ ................................ ................................ ............. 185 Implications ................................ ................................ ................................ ........... 186 Policy ................................ ................................ ................................ .............. 186 Practice ................................ ................................ ................................ .......... 187 Theoretical ................................ ................................ ................................ ...... 189 Implications for Future Research ................................ ................................ .......... 190 Linkages to F ederal Policy ................................ ................................ ............. 190 Linkages to Public Opinion ................................ ................................ ............. 191 Transfer of Attributes from the Media to Public Opinion ................................ 191 Conclusions ................................ ................................ ................................ .......... 192 Code Book for Federal Student Financial Aid ................................ ....................... 196 A P PENDIX A Code She et for Federal Student Financial Aid ................................ ...................... 193 B Code Book for Federal Student Financial Aid ................................ ....................... 196 LIST OF REFERENCES ................................ ................................ ............................. 200 BIOGRAPHICAL SKETCH ................................ ................................ .......................... 220

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11 LIST OF TABLES Table page 3 1 Speeches and policies used in this study ................................ ........................... 95 3 2 Constructed week example ................................ ................................ ................ 96 3 3 DICTION 6.0 Definition of tones and formula used to calculate tones ................ 97 3 4 DICTION 6.0 Definition of attributes which make up each tone .......................... 98 4 1 Individual level correlations for 2009 Inauguration Address/ARA Bill Time 1 ... 125 4 2 Individual level correlations for 2009 Remarks by the President on Higher Education Time 1 ................................ ................................ .............................. 126 4 3 Individual level correlations for 2009 Graduation Initiative Time 1 .................... 127 4 4 Individual level correlations for 2009 Student Aid Financial Responsibility Act (SAFRA) Time 1 ................................ ................................ ............................... 128 4 5 Individual level correlations for 2009 Inauguration Address/ARA Bills Time 2 129 4 6 Individual level correlations for 2009 Remarks by the President on Highe r Education Time 2 ................................ ................................ .............................. 130 4 7 Individual level correlations for 2009 Graduation Initiative Time 2 .................... 131 4 8 Individual level correlat ions for 2009 Student Aid Financial Responsibility Act (SAFRA) Time 2 ................................ ................................ ............................... 132 4 9 Individual Address/Remarks by the President on th e Budget Time 1 ............................... 133 4 10 Individual level correlations for the 2010 Health Care and Education Reconciliation Act Time 1 ................................ ................................ ................. 134 4 11 Individual level correlations for 2010 Remarks by the President on Higher Education and Economy at the University of Texas at Austin Time 1 ............... 135 4 12 Individual level correlations for Presiden Address/Remarks by the President on the Budget Time 2 ............................... 136 4 13 Individual level correlations for Individual level descriptive statistics and correlations for the 2010 Health Care and Education Reconciliation Act Time 2 ................................ ................................ ................................ ....................... 137

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12 4 14 Individual level correlations for 2010 Remarks by the President on Higher Education and Economy at the University of Texas at Austin Time 2 ............... 138 4 15 Individual Address Time 1 ................................ ................................ ................................ 139 4 16 I ndividual level correlations for 2011 Remarks by the President on College Affordability Time 1 ................................ ................................ ........................... 140 4 17 Individual Address Time 2 ................................ ................................ ................................ 141 4 18 Individual level correlations for 2011 Remarks by the President on College Affordability Time 2 ................................ ................................ ........................... 142 4 19 Individual level correlations for Individual level descriptive statistics and correlations for 2012 State of the Union Address Time 1 ................................ 143 4 20 Individual level correlations for 2012 Remarks by the Presi dent on College Affordability Time 1 ................................ ................................ ........................... 144 4 21 Individual level correlations for Investment Rate Transportation Bill Time 1 .... 145 4 22 Individual level correlations for 2012 State of the Union Address Time 2 ......... 146 4 23 Individual level correlations for 2012 Remarks by the President on College Affordability Time 2 ................................ ................................ ........................... 147 4 24 Individual level correlations for Investment Rate Transportation Bill Time 2 .... 148 4 25 Advocacy groups and media rankings of issue categories for President ................................ .................. 149 4 26 Advocacy groups and presidential rankings of issue categories for President during Time 2 ................................ 150 4 27 Advocacy groups and The Associated Press rankings of issue categories for Education 2010 during Time 1 ................................ ................................ .......... 151 4 28 Advocacy groups and The Chronicle of Higher Education rankings of issue Time 2 ................................ ................................ ................................ .............. 152 4 29 Presidential and advocacy groups rankings of issue categories for President ................................ 153 4 30 The Assoc iated Press and presidential rankings of issue categories for the Investment Rate Bill during Time 2 ................................ ................................ ... 154

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13 4 31 The Presidential and The Chronicle of Higher Education rankings of President Obama ........... 155 4 32 Media and the presidential rankings of the Student Aid Financial Responsibility Act during Time 2 ................................ ................................ ...... 156 4 33 Media and the Associated Press rankings of the Health Care and Education Reconciliation Act during Time 2 ................................ ................................ ...... 157 4 34 Media and The Chronicle of Higher E ducation 2010 Remarks by the President on Higher Education and Economy at the University of Texas at Austin during Time 1 ................................ ..................... 158 4 35 The Associated Press and The Chronicle of Higher Education rankings for the Health Care and Education Reconciliation Act during Time 2 .................... 159 4 36 Descriptive statistics for issue in Time 1 ................................ ........................... 160 4 37 Descriptive statistics for issue in Time 2 ................................ ........................... 160 4 38 Attributes that make up tone for all data in Time 1: Means of frequency counts, and means of stand ardized scores ................................ ...................... 161 4 39 Attributes that make up tone for all data in Time 2: Means of frequency counts, and means of standardized scores ................................ ...................... 162 4 40 Descriptive statistics for master variables Time 1. ................................ ............ 163 4 41 Descriptive statistics for master variables in Time 2 ................................ ......... 164

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14 LIST OF FIGURES Figure page 2 1 Timeline of key events of the historical evolution of federal student financial aid from the 1932 to 2008. ................................ ................................ .................. 70 2 2 Timeline of key events of the historical evolution of federal student financial ................................ ............... 71

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15 LIST OF ABBREVIATIONS A genda setting The transfer of salience of an object from the news media agenda to public agenda (McCombs & Shaw, 1972). Agenda building A theory that explores the source to media relationship. It (Berkowitz & Adams, 1990; Turk, 1985; Turk & Franklin, 1987) Public relations groups These can be public relations practitioners for various organizations, lobbying groups, and government agencies. Public relations efforts Any function of the public relations pract ice, such as press releases, news releases, campaigns, press conferences, etc Student financial aid Money that is provided by the federal government, state government, an organization, or an individual that is used to Pell G rants Money provided by the federal government and through participating institutions to help need based students who does not have to be paid back to the government by the Student loans Money that students or parents borrow from either the federal government or from private banks which can be used to pay for college related experiences such as tuition, room and board, and textbooks. These are paid back by the student or parent after a specified grace period. Topics an individual wants to read, hear, and learn about. Sometimes, these topics are not covered by the media. Time lag "The optimal time that an issue must be covered i n the media before the public considers it as important," (Wahl Jorgensen and Hanitzsch, 2009, p.155)

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16 Abstract of Dissertation Presented to the Graduate School of the University of Florida in Partial Fulfillment of the Requirements for the Degree of Doctor of Philosophy AGENDA SETTING AND AGENDA BUILDING IN HIGHER EDUCATION: AN EXAMINATION OF THE RELATIONSHIP S AMONG PRINT MEDIA, PUBLIC RELATIONS, AND FEDERAL STUDENT FINANCIAL AID By Nancy Benton Caroline Parish May 2013 Chair: Pilar Mend oza Major: Higher Education and Administration This study examined the relationships of presidential controlled communication, newspapers, a trade publication and a newswire on federal student financial aid first 31/2 years in office. More specifically, this study employed agenda setting and agenda building theory This study serves as a foundation for future research linking agenda setting and agenda building theories t o higher education. Moreover, it adds to the sparse body of literature which conne cts higher education to the print media. Quantitative c ontent analysis using Diction 6.0 and descriptive statistics were employed to determine issue saliency the relationshi ps between, as well as the tones used by the controlled communication and news coverage of federal student financial s first 3 1/2 years in office. Twelve speeches and policies were analyzed in this study. Additionally, two four week time lags were employed. The first time lag was employed four week s prior to each speech or policy. The second time lag was employed four weeks after each speech or policy. This study found a relationship between controlled communication and the media Subsequently, this study

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17 found that the advocacy groups in this study did not release press releases during five speeches and policies in Time 1 and three speeches and policies in Time 2 Moreover, this study found that the valence of tones during Time 1 was predominantly neutral prior to every speech and policy analyzed. On the other hand, the valence of tones for the second time period was predominantly negative. These findings are important to higher education practitioners, researchers, and policy ana lysts. Prior agenda setting research has found issues most salient in the media are often the issues most important to the public. Additionally, prior research has found that the public is more likely to remember coverage that is negative in tone. How the public perceives higher education, specifically federal financial aid has implications to both practice and policy. Future research should include linking media coverage on federal student financial aid to public opinion. Additional f uture research should f ocus on the linkages between media coverage and policy.

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18 CHAPTER 1 INTRODUCTION American Graduation Initiative, has become the driving force behind higher education policy during h is tenure. His goal to have the most college graduates in the world by 2020 is a challenging task. To ensure that the 2020 goal is met, student federal financial policy. In Mar ch 2010, the Health Care and Education Reconciliation Act was signed into and families by providing more appropriations to various higher education entities. Specifically, this act provided more federal appropriations to the Pell G rant program, helping student borrowers in managing their student loan debt, ending government subsidies given t o financial institutions that make guaranteed federal student loans; thus, aiding in deficit reduction, and investing in community colleges and Minority Serving Institutions. This act is important in providing college students with access to higher educati on and will aid them in persisting throughout their higher education. Moreover, the Health Care and Education Reconciliation Act will help the U.S. in are facing a higher education system that is in peril. According to the College Board (2011), in state tuition and fees at four year universities average $8,244, an 8.3 percent increase over the previous year. According to an article in USA Today unt of student loans taken out last year

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19 crossed the $100 billion mark for the first time, and total loans outstanding will exceed Furthermore, the United States public is con cerned about the rising cost of college. A research poll conducted by The Pew Research Center in conjunction with The Chronicle of Higher Education found that 57% of adult Americans ages 18 and older believe the s fails to provide students with a good Velasco, & Dockterman, 2011, p.1). While the cost of attending college is increasing, state appropriations to fund public universities and community colleges and merit based scholarships are being cut. Moreover, the Great Recession, a downturn that began i n 2007, affecting many sectors experiences (College Board, 2010; Mendoza, Malcolm, & Parish, in press). s (press releases, news releases, press conferences, etc.) are a conduit of information to the public. Through news articles and newscasts, the media presents information that tells the public what to think about it and how to think about it (McCombs, 2004 ). What the print media communicates about, including the amount of coverage given to the cost of provide an insight into how the public thinks about the higher education sy stem in the U.S. Additionally, advocacy groups and presidential public relations efforts may help

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20 setting and agenda building theories, this stu dy will focus on the print Theoretica l Framework Agenda building provides an explanation why some issues are brought to the determined by news editors and directors as much as it is shaped by sources such as press releases, news releases, and press conferences that provide information to the newsroom. Often, the sources are developed from public relations efforts in the content of the news release. Kiousis, Laskin, and Kim (2011) suggest agenda building as a process of salience formation and transfer as one involving several groups, including 1). Research focusing on agenda building has suggested public relations activities are crucial to what is in the news media (Curtin, 1999; Curtin & Rhodenbaugh, 2001 ; Turk, 1985; Williams, 2004; Zoch & Molleda, 2006). Specifically, public relations practitioners provide information subsidies such as press releases, news releases, press kits, and press conferences to journalists. Prior research estimates between 25 and 80 percent of all news media stems from public relations activities (Cameron, Sallot, & Curtin 1997; Lee & Solomon, 1991). For example, Kaid (1976) found political

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21 information not only is published more frequently than articles highlighting their political issues, they often are run verbatim in newspapers. In addition to agenda building theory, this study will also employ the agenda setting theory in examining federal student financ ial aid. First level agenda setting focuses on the transfer of salience of an object from the news media agenda to public by day selection and display of the news, editors and news directors focus o ur attention and influence our Second level agenda setting examines how the object is framed in the media. By highlighting certain attributes or characteristics and properties o f the object and not others, the media frames the object a certain way. For example, some mainstream Health and Human Services ( HHS ) mandate, which requires religious employers such as colleges and h ospitals to provide free birth control or drugs that can cause abortions to their employees not as a religious liberty issue, but as an issue in the Catholic Church not providing preventative teachings. Prior agenda setting research has focused on po litical advertising (Golan, Kiousis, & McDaniel, 2007; Roberts & McCombs, 1994; Sweetser, Golan, & Wanta 2008), political campaigns and debates ( Dreier & Martin, 2010; Vliegenthart & Walgrave,

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22 2011) business news and corporate reputation (Carroll & McCom bs, 2003), business influence on federal policy (Berger, 2001), legal systems (Fox, Sickel, & Steiger, 2007;), trials (Ramsey & McGuire, 2000), public opinion (Dunaway, Branton, & Abranjano, 2010; Dursun Ozkanca, 2011; Mortensen, 2010), and public relation s (Caroll & McCombs, 2003). This study proposes an extension of both agenda setting and agenda building research by examining the degree to which print media, adv ocacy influence one another, and, in return, is influenced by each (2009 2012). Purpose of Study This study is the first study that combines the agenda setting and agenda building theories specifically to higher education. It expand s the study of agenda building theory by examining the interaction among the print media, advocacy groups, the president, and federal student financial aid. More recent studies have linked agenda building with agenda setting to election contests (Kiousis, 2005; Kiousis, Kim, McDevitt, & Ostrowski, 2009), and corporate proxy contents (Ragas, 2012). Other studies have examined the influence of the U.S. Speaker of the House to policy building (Kiousis, et al., 2011). Prior education studies focusing on media e ffects have focused on qualitative content analysis and framing. These studies have found a relationship directly to how the media represent public K 12 education ( Fairclough, 200 3 ; Goldstein, 2011; Weis s, 2003) However, the researcher is not aware of this study is to fill this gap in research by exploring the relationships between print media, advocacy groups, the p resident, and an approved federal policy focusing on

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23 federal student financial aid. Television news media was not analyzed due to the costliness of obtaining its news coverage. Research Questions There was one research question that will guide this explor atory study: What is the role of the print media in federal financial student aid agenda setting be addressed through the following sub questions: A. Is there a positiv e relationship communication and presidential communication? B. Is there a positive relationship controlled communication and newspaper coverage? C. Is there a positive relationship between communication and The Associated Press ? D. Is there a positive relationship between th communication and The Chronicle of Higher Education ? E. Is there a positive relationship between the salience of federal student financial aid in presidential controlled communicati on and newspaper coverage? F. Is there a positive relationship between the salience of federal student financial aid in presidential controlled communication and The Associated Press ? G. Is there a positive relationship between the salience of federal stud ent financial aid in presidential controlled communication and The Chronicle of Higher Education ? H. Is there a positive relationship between newspaper coverage and The Associated Press ? I. Is there a positive relationship between newspaper coverage and Th e Chronicle of Higher Education ? J. Is there a

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24 positive relationship between The Associated Press and The Chronicle of Higher Education ? K. What are the tones used when discussing federal student financial aid?

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25 CHAPTER 2 LITERATURE REVIEW Higher educati proposed an agenda focusing on increasing the proportion of college graduates by 2020, so that the United States once again will be ranked first in the world. This plan is e, which included an increase in the amount of federal funding to Pell Grants, as well as changes in the federal student loan program, received a fair amount of media coverage. According to McCombs (2004), through newsca sts and newspaper articles, the mass media can influence the releases, news releases, press conferences, etc.) can provide information to the public. To facilit ate a discussion on how the print media and public relations can affect how the public perceives and understands federal student financial aid, this literature review first will discuss the history of federal student financial aid, which includes President Obam setting theory by discussing its early development and the stages that this proposed study will examine. In addition, literature that focuses on agenda setting and public opinion, as well as agen da setting/agenda building policy is discussed. Then I will discuss public relations agenda building. Finally, literature focusing on media framing in K 12 education policy will be addressed. A timeline of the key events of the historical evolution of fede ral financial aid from 1932 to 2008 is included in Figure 2 1 and a time line of the key events of the historical evolution of federal student financial aid during 2 2.

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26 The History of Federal Student Fina ncial Aid in the United States student federal financial aid are more likely to be (Archibald, 2002, p. 21). Instead, most federal student financial aid policies have their roots in the past. Crises such as economic recessions, war related issues, and the civil rights movement all have been instrumental in creating policies where vast amounts of federal funds are used to support higher education. To better understand federal student financial aid policies during the Obama administration, this section of the literature review will discuss the history of federal financial aid. First is a discussion focusing on the shift to a federal role in student financial aid. Then, federal financial aid polices from President Franklin Delano Roosevelt to the Obama administration are examined. Finally, issues stemming from the shift from grants to loans are covered. The Shift to a Federal Role in Aiding Students Unlike state funding, the concept of providing federal funding to student aid is rather a new idea (Archibald, 2002). Prior to the early to mid twentieth centu ry, the role of providing financial aid to the student was left to either the states and/or the colleges. Scholars suggest attitudes and distrust hindered political and public support of the At the turn of the twentieth century, long held attitudes that a college education should be the responsibility of the student were rampant (Archibold, 2002). This deeply rooted attitude was held by many U.S. residents, including politicians. President F

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27 he student could work their way through college (Archibald, 2002). Additionally, much like elementary and secondary education, the Congressional viewpoint of higher education was that it was a state concern ( Archibald, 2002) This belief can be seen in the Morrill Wade Land Grant College Act of 1862. Prior to its passing, the Morrill Act of 1862 faced multiple constitutional challenges. One challenge came from the southern states. These states questioned the constitutionality of federal support for education, which they alleged was a state issue (Archibald, 2002). Another trial came from President James Buchanan. Based on his viewpoint that it was oval from President Abraham Lincoln did the Morrill Act of 1862 become policy. Moreover, there was a deep seated distrust of central government power among U.S. residents (Archibald 2002; Wilkinson, 2005) This distrust especially was seen in education. Most taxpayers and voters were more inclined to support financial aid going directly to the student, so that the student could attend a college and degree program of her/his choice than financial aid going straight to an institute of higher education. In addition, there were fears concerning federal aid to students. This fear focused on being controlled by some remote authority, such as a religious entity. Archibald (2002) suggests t he history of financial aid is a journey of these fears, which enlist different special interest groups to overcome them. Despite these issues, the twentieth century saw a change in the federal ts four factors that ignited the

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28 began the change. This report suggests that some nati onal leaders supported federal demand of a college education, especially after World War II, warranted the support of federal financial aid. According to the Bureau of t he Census, the Series H 701, 383 (1965), 22.2 percent of 18 to 24 year olds were in college. This was up from 12.5 percent in 1946 (Archibald, 2002). Thirdly, Archibald (2002) suggests Congress 3). Wilkinson (2005) the launch of Sputnik by the Soviet Union in 1957 helped pass the National Defense Education Act, which provided scholarships to students interest ed in studying science. In this environment, the development and enactment of policies regarding new student financial aid programs are linked as a remedy. Finally, Archibald (2002) credits the election of President Lyndon Johnson, who continued President administration plans of placing equal opportunity as the heart of his legislative agenda. Beyond these four pillars, technological advancements of a modern society also impelled the shift in policy from a state concern to it also being a fe deral concern. In order for a modern society to flourish, people must be educated and have a sophisticated skill set (Bollag, 2001; Woodard, 2000; & Woodhall, 1987). These researches suggest that in a modern society, where developed professions are more so phisticated, there is a need for higher education. This need leads to political pressure from society to make higher education more widely available. Thus, to appease society,

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2 9 the federal government will provide appropriations to student aid. However, appr opriations toward federal student financial aid compete with other demands on the government such as prisons, K 12 education, health care, and the armed forces. To limit taxpayer resistance to higher taxes, which would support more funding to grants, the f ederal government relays some of the mounting federal student aid costs back to the students through loans. Federal Student Financial Aid Policy: 1930s 1963 In the 1930s, the Great Depression helped produce a wide reaching federal aid program, the New Dea l, which helped put the unemployed back to work by funding various projects such as building bridges, airports, dams, post offices, courthouses, and thousands of miles of road (Parker, 2002) In addition, t he New Deal also funded student employment. Run by the Federal Emergency Relief Administration (later called the National Youth Administration), work study aided about one in eight college students by the late 1930s (Wilkinson, 2005). In the 1930s, work st udy was distributed to colleges according to enrollment. The government evolved its rules such that work study expanded the enrollment to include low income students (Levine, 1986) In 1942, the U.S. federal government designed a loan program to place students quickly in various fields, especially science and engineering programs. The Student War Loan Program was based on service, and was crucial to the war effort (Van Dyke, 1949) Another national crisis, the fear of a return to economic depression and mass Readjustment Act of 1944. Also known as the GI Bill, The Serv Act of 1944 provides non loan student financial aid and is based on service, not need (Thelin, 2011) The GI Bill is viewed as payment for service and not as financial aid.

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30 Wilkinson (200 5) suggests this federal policy was significant for many reasons. The GI Bill provided access to higher education, especially for those who might not have attended. It is estimated that roughly 20 percent of the veterans who went to college would not have attended if not for the GI Bill (Wilkinson, 2005). In addition, (Cohen, 2010) argues that the GI Bill suggests that college was no longer reserved for an elite few. Intellectual opinions believed that the influx o f veterans would lower college standards; however, the ability and assiduousness of the veterans suggested that a broader population could do college work (Olson, 1973) seriousness towa rd higher education strengthened the case for providing access to higher education through financial aid (Wilkinson, 2005). Since its initiation, the GI Bill has accommodated millions to attend either college, pre college, or on the job training. In 2011 a lone, a total of 923,836 GIs have used the GI Bill (Veterans Benefits Administration, 2011) Despite the entrance into student financial aid given by the federal government, little Congressional Commission of Higher Education was established by President Harry S. Truman in 1946. This commission was born out of the thought that wasting human resources and educational inequality wa s not good for the country (Wilkinson, 2005). Reports from the commission, published in 1947 and 1948, suggested that half of the college population could do two years of college, and one third had the ability to successfully do four years or more (U.S. President's Commission on Higher Education, 1947) Unfortunately, reality suggested a different picture. Fifteen percent of 18 to 21 year olds were attending college. The commission argu our

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31 1947). Moreover, the commission was concerned about the discrimination of Blacks and Jews, and the inequalities of education opportunity among socioeconomic classes (Wilkinson, 2005). These concerns warranted a 1944 proposal for federal grants for needy high school students (Warner, Havighurst, & Loeb, 1944). reports ; aid (Wilkinson, 2005). These college presidents believed that federal financial aid would lower standards, produce too many college graduates for the amount of av ailable work positions, and would mean too much government control; thus, it would disadvantage private colleges (Hawkins, 1972; Kenne dy, 1952; Kerr Tener, 1985; Ravitch, 1983) Additionally, Congress was divided over student grants and loans (Wilkinson, 2005). This disagreement, coupled with the Korean War, derailed the numerous bills regarding federal financial aid in the late 1940s a nd 1950s (Wilkinson, 2005). With the help of advocates, a bill concerning federal student financial aid was passed. The National Defense Education Act of 1958 (NDEA) focused on the science and technology needs of the country. The U.S. was concerned with t advancement of science and technology. In 1957, the Soviets launched Sputnik, the first space satellite. Advocates of federal financial aid used Sputnik as a cause to propose a bill for science scholarships and graduate fellowships. Moreo ver, many advocates used this bill as a way to broaden the access to higher education (Wilkinson, financial need might undermine student initiative and readiness to make sa crifices for a

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32 college education, Congress passed NDEA, which included a loan program instead of a scholarship program (Axt & Commission on Financing, 1952) The centerpiece of NDEA was the undergraduate loan progr am. This loan program allowed colleges to select loan recipients. Selection was based on need and scholarship. Students who wished to teach school or had superior scholarship in science, mathematics, engineering, or a modern foreign language were eligible (Wilkinson, 2005). presidency; however, the lack of support from Congress derailed any hopes of the federal government providing a need based scholarship program. Congress worr ied that Kennedy, the first Catholic president, would breach the constitutional separation of church and state by providing federal aid to religious institutes of education (Hansen, 1977) Additionally, President Ken support (Hansen, 1977) Finally, the cost of providing need based scholarships was a concern (Hansen, 1977) Despite Kenne discrepancies between the poverty legislation in place by 1963 (Schlesinger, 1965; Sundquist, 1969) poverty. Federal Financial Aid from 1964 1970 Presi State of the Union address. This legislation was proposed in response to the national Opportunity Act. Thi s bill was implemented to promote education, general welfare and

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33 health to impoverished U.S. citizens (Cowger & Markman, 2003) The education portion of the bill included Head Start and federal work study (Wilkinson, 2005) Work study funded student jobs and was seen as self help and productive labor (Cohen 2010). Thus, work study was favored by Congress and taxpayers alike. lege student who had to borrow money Americans, led to his approach to poverty to empower the poor themselves by providing educational opportunity (Archibald, 2002) education opportunity included student aid programs. These programs led to the development of the Higher Education Act of 1965 (Archibald, 2002; Cohen & Kisker, 2010; Cohen, 2010; Wilkinson, 2005) Higher Education Act of 1965 The Higher Education Act (HEA) was devised to strengthen the ed ucational resources to U.S. institutes of higher education and to promote equal education opportuniti es by helping students obtain postsecondary degrees (Keppel, 1987) Additionally, this act allows for student f inancial aid to be a lasting feature in federal appropriations. Since its implementation in 1965, there have been nine reauthorizations (1968, 1971, 1972, 1976, 1980, 1986, 1992, 1998, and 2008). The current authorization for the programs in the Higher Edu cation Act expires at the end of 2013. Speaker of the House of Representatives John William McCormack, U.S. Vice President and President of the Senate Hubert H. Humphrey II, and John son. More specifically, Title IV of the HEA focuses on student financial aid. Since its initiation, Title

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34 IV has been amended to include three grant programs: Basic Educational Opportunity Grant (now known as the Pell Grant), which provides need based gran ts to undergraduate students who are enrolled at least half time; Supplemental Educational Opportunity Grants (SEOG) (the original Equal Opportunity Grant),which is a need based grant program for undergraduates administered by campuses; and State Student I ncentive Grants (SSIG), which will match funds of up to 50 percent for state administered need based grant programs (St. John & Byce, 1982) Other programs include College Work Study (CWS), which provides eligible s tudents with up to half time employment; Guaranteed Student Loan program (GSL), which insures and provides interest subsidies on loans to both students and parents; and the National Direct Student Loan Program (NDSL), which offers direct, low interest fede ral loans to students at participating colleges (St. John & Byce, 1982). The current events of the time (black urban riots and the civil rights movement) helped create an emergency atmosphere, which helped the enactment of HEA. President Johnson was able to justify that student financial aid was a national economic investment. Additionally, he highlighted the importance of equal opportunity in higher education (Keppel, 1987) Furthermore, the HEA raised expectat ions about increasing college going rates among poor and Black students. In the 1960s, poor and Black individuals were far less likely to attend college then the White middle class. According to the Carnegie Commission Report (1968), 50 percent of high sch ool students had the ability to attend college but lacked funding; thus, they did not attend college. Despite some success in which federal student financial aid helped close the gap in access to higher education, there were still differences and inequalit ies among colleges and

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35 among states in how Equal Opportunity Grants (EOGs) were allocated. First, students did not know if they would receive EOGs until they were accepted by a college (St. John & Byce, 1982) Secon d, many equity oriented social scientists found fault with the current EOGs. According to Wilkinson (2006), these grants only reached about 225,000 students, or less than four percent of all undergraduates. Social scientists may have persuaded Assistant Se cretary of Health, Education, and Welfare Alice Rivilin to write a report in which he proposed a new program that would provide direct grants to students, Health, Education, an d Welfare, 1969, pg. vi). The HEA of 1965 allowed many of the poorest students to attend college. In 1966 1967, 94 percent of students in the poorest quarter had their estimated financial need. Additionally, these students had 44 percent of their estima ted financial need met by grants (Harris, 1972) Students in the second poorest quarter had 38 percent of 15 percent of which were grants (Harris, 1972). This percentage was similar for students in the upper middle class. Finally, students from the top quarter those who were estimated to be able to pay for any college they chose to attend still received some aid, mostly in loans (Harris, 1972) Federal Student Financial Aid from 1970 1980 During the 1970s, policies and programs responded to a broad public and were used to expand access and equity by providing more money to low socio economic status students and ot her underrepresented students (Cohen, 2010). To meet with the needs of a broad public, federal expenditures for student financial aid increased during the decade.

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36 The first policy focusing on access and equity issues during this decade was the Federal Pel l Grant Program. Initiated in 1972 and originally called the Basic Education Opportunity Grant (BEOG), this policy first was created to provide financial aid to college students who otherwise could not afford to attend. The BEOG is considered an entitlemen t award, meaning any applicant who matched with specific terms would receive funding. In other words, all students with low to lower middle income are qualified. To receive the grant, students must be accepted to a qualified institution, be a full time stu dent (at least 12 credits per semester), and also must maintain good academic standing (Thelin, 2011). These grants were scaled according to family income and some types of assets. Additionally, these grants could not exceed 50 percent of the total college costs. Part time students also could receive the Pell Grant; however, they were scaled down. Up to $1,250 per year in federal student financial aid was awarded to qualified students (St. John & Byce, 1982; Thelin, 2011) The actual amount students 2002; Wilkinson, 2006). This annual appropriation was based on the average cost of attending a community c ollege, minus tuition. Unlike prior federal financial aid policies, the Pell Grant program was not created by an emergency (Wilkinson, 2006). Instead, St. John & Parsons (2004) suggest the development and i mplementation of the 1973 federal financial aid policies were based merely on change and conciliation. However, some have argued the Pell Grant was a product of the 1960s turmoil (Wilkinson, 2006) and an outgrowth of civil rights laws ( St. John & Parsons 2004) Subsequently, Congressional concerns about the financial costs of the Vietnam War and the protests on U.S. college campuses regarding the war

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37 had to subside, otherwise the Pell Grant policy would not hav e come to fruition (Wilkinson, 2006). Unlike the EOGs, the Pell Grant provides funding directly to individual students and not to the institutions. This allowed students not only to have the means to attend college, but they also were given the ability to choose what college to attend. This decision to directly provide students with funding was debated heavily in Congress. One argument against providing students with direct funding was that this would encourage colleges to raise their tuition in order to power. One the other hand, proponents such as the National Association of Student Financial Aid Administrators supported direct funding to colleges (Parsons, 1997) T hey argued that their stance might enable colleges to keep their prices low (Gladieux & Wolanin, 1978; Parsons, 1997) Although there might be some truth to this argument (McPhearson & S chapio, 1991; Vedder, 2004), students and institutions were in support of expanded financial aid. Furthermore, Thelin (2004 ) suggests that between 1972 and 1978, the Pell Grant program was very popular with students and institutions. By 1975, one in five c ollege freshmen was receiving a Pell Grant. In addition to Pell Grants, U.S. federal government continued with providing EOGs, which were renamed the Supplemental Educational Opportunity Grants (SEOGs). In this grant, colleges selected would receive the gr ants as well as the amount. The original intention of the SEOGs was to make private colleges affordable for low income students (Johnstone, 1986). Another federal grant program, the State Student Incentive Grants (SSIGs) began in 1975. This grant program

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38 encouraged states to set up general need related financial aid programs, such as New ce Program (TAP). Federal expenditures on this program always were under four percent of what the federal government spent on Pell Grants. By the end of the decade, all states had general need related programs (Wilkenson, 2005). Despite the success and int erest in federal grant programs, there were conflicts between class interests. Middle class and upper middle class students wanted federal student financial aid too. This desire led to the federal government supplying loans to all students, regardless to n eed. However, since the mid 1970s, federal policy focusing on grants (need based aid that benefits students from low income families) shifted to repayable student loans (Burdman, 2005; Chen & DesJardins, 2008; Dowd, 2008; and Gladieux, 2002). Under Carte Income Student Assistance Act (MISAA) was designed to ward off a tuition tax credit plan that would benefit middle class families. MISAA broadened the eligibility for Pell Grants. Students from family incomes up to $26,0 00 were eligible (the previous limit was $15,000). This meant that Pell appropriations were spread thinner; thus providing less funds to low income students (Mortenson, 1988). Additionally, MISAA made all students eligible for guaranteed student loans. In the past, eligibility for student loans was based on income. (Archibold, 2002). It is with this policy that the focus of the federal financial aid programs shifted from grants for students with financial need to student loans (College Board, 2005; Dowd & Coury, 2006; Gladieux, 2002; Heller, 1999; Heller & Rogers, 2006;

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39 Paulsen & St. John, 2002; Spencer, 1999). This change from grants to loans was favored by banks and students from wealthier families (Thelin, 2004). Federal Student Financial Aid Policy fr om 1980 1998 With the 1980 presidential election of Ronald Reagan, domestic spending was curbed and many of the provisions made during the 1980 HEA authorization were repealed. For federal student financial aid policy, this meant that income was reintroduc ed in the guaranteed student loan program. Additionally, a five percent origination fee was imposed on borrowers (Gladieux, 1996). leveled off. Thus, with less federal appropriat ions going to grants, there was an increase in the demand for Stafford loans. According to Keppel (1987), the shift from grants to loans is a part of the budgetary process. He suggests this process requires the cost of loan eligibility be included in the c alculations for student financial aid annual budgeting. Moreover, Keppel (1987) adds that the long term costs of student loans on the government are less predictable; thus, it would affect the controllable appropriations for grants and other aid. Keppel (1 987) also argues that the budgetary process makes Stafford loans an entitlement program that provides more aid to students from the middle class than to students from lower income families. With more allocations of a fixed budget going toward student loans which benefit the middle class, there are fewer funds available for grants, which benefit students from lower class families. This shift from grants to loans is a concern for many financial aid researchers (St. John & Bryce, 1982). Additionally, th e shift from grants to loans concerned some members of the federal

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40 increase of college students relying on student loans to pay for tuition, which was growing faster than inflation. However, no effective solutions were put in place and legislature allowed for federal borrowing ceilings to increase. After this reauthorization, the volume of student loans grew, and with it, an increase in the number of student loan defaults. By the late 1980s, there was a saturation of media coverage regarding student loan defaults. According to Gladieux (1996), this made student loan defaults a salient issue. This coverage, coupled with public opinion, caught the attention of Congress and le gislation aimed at reducing defaults and effective cost saving measures were passed (Gladieiux, 1996). The debate over the shift of the student financial aid funding continued under etter balance between grant and student loan support. Legislators supported the use of funding from the post Cold War peace dividend to fund the Pell Grant. This would have made the Pell Grant a mandatory spending program with automatic annual funding incr eases that would match inflation. However, this never occurred. Instead, federal student financial aid focused more on student loans than on grants. The reauthorization of the Higher Education Act (1992) made three changes to federal financial aid policy. First, Congress increased the limits on the amount a student could borrow and introduced unsubsidized Stafford loans. These loans were designed to provide students who did not qualify for need based subsidized Stafford loans with student aid. For unsubsid ized loans, the government does not pay the interest while the borrower is in school. Instead, market interest rates are paid by the borrower. Second, Congress authorized a small demonstration project (now known as the William D. Ford

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41 Direct Loan Program) in which the federal government would provide direct loans to eligible students. This was in contrast to the past, where student loans were provided by private financial institutions. Lastly, the methodology used for determining need was changed. This meth odology applied to all Title IV funding, and reduced the expected family and student contributions, which helped more students become eligible for financial aid. These changes contributed to the increase in the demand for loans; thus, continuing the shift from grants to loans. Federal student financial aid policy supporting the middle class continued under (SLRA) expanded the Direct Loan program and provided more flexibilit y in how students paid back their loans, which altered the way student loans were financed, serviced, originated, and repaid. Moreover, the SLRA required the Department of Education to offer income contingent loans, which allows students to repay their loa ns based on a college income. These loans have never been used widely (Archibald, 2002). In addition, the Clinton administration introduced AmeriCorps. Students who participate in authorized social service progra ms can earn a stipend plus a college grant or credit against their student loans. Although this program is beneficial to students and in providing community service, it is funded to cover less than two percent of the college students (Wilkinson, 2006). Fi nally, under the Clinton administration, tax credits became law. In 1997, Congress and President Clinton created the Hope Scholarship Credit, which provides a tax credit on the first two years of higher education, and the Lifetime Learning Credit,

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42 which pr ovides tax credit for the remaining years of higher education. This federal student financial aid policy represents the first policy that is not based on need. Additionally, these tax credits made interest payments on student loans tax deductible. Federal Financial Aid from 2000 2008 focused more on student loans than on grants. First, the Bush administration implemented policy changes in student loan interest rates. In February 2002, Public Law 102 139 changed education loan interest rates from variable rates to fixed rates for new loans issued after July 1, 2006 (interest rates on Stafford Loan were changed to 6.8% and the interest rates on PLUS Loans were altered to 7.9%). Thr ee years later, interest rates reached a historical low. During 2005, borrowers were able to consolidate during the in school period to lock in a rate of 2.88%. Due to loopholes in the policy, continuing students were able to consolidate. Additionally, due to a 1 percent cut in discretionary funding in 2005, student financial aid saw a cut in federal funding. Moreover, as part of the Deficit Reduction Act of 2005, the Higher Education Reconciliation Act of 2005 (HERA 2005) cut $12.7 billion from student aid Changes due to the HERA 2005 focused more on financial aid to middle class families, who benefit more from loans and prepaid tuition plans. It switched Stafford and PLUS interest rates to fixed rates from 6.8% to 8.5% (an increase from P.L. 107 139), red uced loan fees from four percent to one percent, and increased some loan limits. Additionally, HERA 2005 made a few changes in the financial aid treatment of prepaid tuition plans. For low income students who benefit mostly from grants, the HERA 2005 kept the maximum Pell Grant at $4,050 for the fourth year in a row (in 2007, The Revised Continuing Appropriations Resolution increased the maximum Federal Pell Grant for 2007 2008 by

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43 $260 to $4,310). HERA 2005 also added a National Science and Mathematics Acce ss to Retain Talent grant (SMART grant) for less than 10 percent of Pell Grant recipients. SMART grants are need based federal grants that are awarded to undergraduate students in their third and fourth years of undergraduate studies. Only specific majors are eligible for the grant. These grants were developed for the U.S. to keep it sedge in science and math. and Access Act of 2007 (CCRAA 2007) and the Higher Education Opportu nity Act of 2008, had the most impact on student financial aid. The CCRAA 2007 was called the largest increase in federal student aid since the GI Bill by the Democratic leadership ( The White House Office of the Press Secretary, 2012). Paid for by cutting payments to lenders and guarantee agencies, the CCRAA 2007 increased the maximum Pell Grant from $4,310 in 2007 08 to $5,400 in 2012 13 and added Teach grants of $4,000 a year. It also cut interest rates on subsidized student loans for undergraduate stude nts by 2011 2012, and added income based repayment and public service loan forgiveness. Additionally, this act made changes in the 2009 2010 expected family contribution (EFC) from $20,000 to $30,000, and changed the income protection allowance for both in dependent and dependent students. Finally, a pilot auction for setting the lender subsidy rates on Parent PLUS loans was established by legislation. The Higher Education Act of 2008 reauthorized the HEA of 1965. This act made nal benefits and loan default rates, established three loan forgiveness programs, and required lenders to report repayment information to all national consumer credit reporting agencies. It also authorized a simplified application

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44 used to receive federal s tudent financial aid (the EZ FAFSA form), standardized the financial aid award letter, and softened the 90/10 rule, which requires for profit universities to receive no more than 90% of their revenues from federal student financial aid. Implications for t he Shift from Grants to Loans Federal student financial aid policies play a pivotal role in providing funding to make college more affordable to all populations and improve access to college for students from low income families. Although current policies have increased the overall college participation rate (NCES, 2006), there is a disparity between low income and under representative populations. Blacks account for a 13% gain and Hispanics, an 8% gain. As noted above, federal student financial aid polic ies, which were initiated to aid low income students in access to higher education, has shifted from grants to loans (Baum, 2006; College Board, 2005; Dowd & Coury, 2006; Gladieux, 2002; Heller, 1999; Heller and Rogers, 2006; Paulsen & St. John, 2002; Spen cer, 1999). The College Board (2005) found that financial aid in the form of grant aid has increased only 86%, while financial aid in the form of loans rose 130%. This change limits access to higher education for low income students (Paulson & St. John, 2002; St. John, 2003) and has implications for equity of college participation and degree obtainment (Heller & Rogers, 2006). For Blacks and Hispanics, grants have stronger effects on persistence than for Whites (Hu & St. John, 2001). Additionally, St. Jo hn, Paulsen, and Carter (2005) found that within year persistence for Blacks improved with grants. Chen and DesJardins (2010) specifically researched the impact of Pell Grants on college persistence. They found that when Pell Grants increased by $1,000

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45 inc rements, the risk of dropping out decreased between Whites and minority students. Additionally, the risk of dropping out for minority students who do not receive grants is higher than their White counterparts (Chen & DesJardins, 2010). Student Financial A id Policy under President Obama including financing higher education. During his first presidential campaign, Barack Obama touted a higher education plan, which focused on five critical issues: access, affordability, research, economic development, and international competiveness (Lev ine, 2008). His agenda included grants, which aided technology based economic development through community colleges; support for expanding Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs) and distance learning enhancement, and doubling funds for energ y related and other basic research. His agenda also included increasing access to community colleges and universities by expanding TRIO and Gear up, and establishing tax credits to make ffice, Obama passed several policies that included federal student financial aid. This section focuses In March 2009, President Obama proposed his five pillars of education reform to the United States Hispanic Ch amber of Commerce. The fifth pillar focuses on higher education White House Office of the Press Secretary 2009). More spec

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46 improving student loan programs, increasing access and equity to higher education by increasing funding to Pell Grants, helping the middle class by providing tax credits for college expenses, and providing fun ding to community colleges (Haye s, 2010). and economic gaps minorities encounter (Cherwin, 2008; Hay e s, 2010). Obama also suggested that affirmative action programs s objectives. First, in February 2009, he signed into law a budget that included an increas e to the maximum Pell Grant award from $5,231 to $5,350. This increase would be implemented during the 2009 2010 school year. Additionally, in response to the dramatic increase of tuition, which has outpaced family incomes, Obama signed the American Recove ry and Reinvestment Act (the stimulus bill) in February 2009. This bill included a provision for a tax credit of up to $2,500 for college expenses, including tuition, fees, and textbooks. For taxpayers who do not owe on their taxes, a rebate of up to 40 pe rc ent ($1,000) is refundable (Haye s, 2010). This tax credit would help pay for tuition costs (Obama, 2009). In addition, Obama expanded the Perkins Loan Program and reformed the Pell Grant program (Naranjo, 2009). Additionally, he asked for funding to prod uce more teachers, promote service, and retrain the unemployed (Levin, 2008). Health Care and Education Reconciliation Act of 2010 (HCERA). Under Title II, this law included the S tudent Aid and Fiscal Responsibility Act (SAFRA), which was attached as a rider to the HCERA. The Student Aid and Fiscal Responsibility Act is a bill that was

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47 introduced in the U.S. House of Representatives of the 111 th U.S. Congress. This bill extended th e federal Pell Grants to a maximum of $5,500 in 2010, tied annual increases in its maximum values to the Consumer Price Index and added 1% to these increases. Additionally, this act put an end to federally subsidized private student loans. Instead, all fed eral student loan funding would be used for direct loans (HR4872: Health Care and Education Reconciliation Act, 2010). However, during the reconciliation process, small technical parts of the bill relating to Pell Grants were removed. More specifically, t he reconciliation bill deals with student loan reform. This reform package included: 1) Loans would be administered directly by the Department of Education, which ended the process of the federal government providing subsidies to private banks to offer fe deral insured loans; 2) Starting in 2014, new qualified borrowers of student loans will be able to cap the amount they spend on loan repayments each month to 10% of their discretionary income (cap in 2012 was 15%); 3) New student loan borrowers will be eli gible to have their loans forgiven, if they make timely payments, after 20 years instead of 10 years, for borrowers who work in public service, like serving in the military, nursing, and teaching (Baker & Herszenhorn, 2010); 4) Parents of college students will find it easier to take out federal PLUS loans. Parents will be able to borrow directly only from the federal government, with interest rates capped at 7.9 percent (private lenders charge upwards to 8.5 percent). Moreover, parents with credit problems are more likely to be approved by the federal government for a PLUS loan than by private banks; 5) Several billion dollars will be used to fund historically poor and minority schools and community colleges; and 6) The Pell Grant program was increased by pr oviding more grant money to approved Pell Grant

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48 recipients (in 2010 2011, the maximum Pell Grant increased by $200 to $5,550 (HR4872: Health Care and Education Reconciliation Act, 2010). funding federal student financial aid. Funding for year round Pell Grants was eliminated. Additionally, during the 2012 budgeting process, the maximum funding award to Pell Grant recipients remained at $5,550 for 2012. However, in order to maintain the cu rrent funding level for Pell Grants, a compromise was made. The compromise eliminates the in school interest exemption for graduate and professional students and an on time repayment incentive for student borrowers. According to an ACE press release (2011, federal student financial aid became paramount. These d iscussions were fueled during 3.4 to 6.8 percent n.d.). However, two days before interest rates were to doub le, Congress passed a roughly $100 billion Investment Rate Transportation Bill (Wolf, 2012). This bill saved 7.5 million students an average of $1,000 on their student loan payments (Pugh, 2012). The student loan portion of this bill is active for one year (Wolf, 2012). The Health Care and Education Reconciliation Act of 2010 did receive an adequate share of press coverage. In using a Lexis Nexis database, an online catalogue which provides access to full text news, legal and business publications xis

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49 Health Care and Education Reconciliation Act of 2010, the researcher located 80 U.S. newspaper stories dated between March 31, 2009, and November 9, 2010. In addition, in foc The New York Times, USA Today, and The Washington Post dated between January agenda is agenda setting theory. Early Development of Agenda Setting Theory Agenda setting theory has Public Opinion (1922). Lippmann (1922) suggested there are many topics being discussed around the public at any given time, many which the public learns about from second hand sources such as the media. The topics the media chooses to highlight often become the topics p.3). The world looks different to different people, depending on known as the agenda setting function of the mass media. Max McCombs and Don Shaw (1972) put this idea to an empi rical test in their seminal study regarding undecided voters in Chapel Hill, NC, during the 1968 U.S. presidential campaign

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50 (McCombs & Shaw, 1972). This study combined content analysis of media coverage with a survey of a small group of undecided voters. T he test found a significant positive correlation between the media and public agendas regarding political issue salience. These voters perceived the issues that received the most media attention to be the most important or most salient. This study provided Since the Chapel Hill study, the core of ag enda setting theory regarding the salience of elements (objects) in the news media and the transfer of object salience to the public has been reaffirmed in several hundred empirical studies (Dearing & Rogers, 1996; McCombs, 2004). Other early agenda settin g research, which helped build theoretical development, was longitudinal studies (e.g. Funkhouser, 1973; Shaw & McCombs, 1977; Winter & Eyal, 1981). These studies detected a cause and effect relationship between the media and the public agenda. Soon after, a series of controlled laboratory experiments conducted by Iyengar and Kinder (1987) provided further causal evidence that the media agenda does influence public agenda. Although much agenda setting theory focuses on the transfer of salience from the medi a to the public during political elections (Golan, et al., 2007; Kiousis, 2004; Kiousis & McCombs, 2004), there is an expansion to include various agendas such as corporate reputations (Berger, 2001; Berger, Hertag, & Park, 2003; Carroll, 2004, 2011; Carro ll & McCombs, 2003; Kiefer, 1983; Kiousis, Popescu, & Mitrook, 2007; Meijer & Kleinnijenhuis, 2006; Ohl, Pincus, Rimmer, & Harrison, 1995; Ragas, Kim, & Kiousis, 2009), sports (Denham, 2004; Fortunato, 2000, 2008; Seltzer & Dittmore, 2009) organized religi on (Stout &

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51 Buddenbaum, 2001) and education (Rodriguez Diaz, 2009). Rodriquez Diaz (2009) explored the agenda setting effects among college teachers. While studying undergraduate journalism students, she found many of the topics that comprise the students topics. To aid in the development of the agenda setting function in higher education, this current study will examine the agenda setting function of the media related to federal st udent financial aid. Agenda Setting Theory Stages Agenda setting theory has developed a theoretical map whereas agenda setting research is compartmentalized in five stages. In each stage remain active areas of inquiry. These stages are not linear, nor di d they evolve chronologically. Rather, these stages are areas of emphasis for current and future research (McCombs, 200 5 ). These stages are 1) Basic agenda setting effects; 2) Attribute agenda setting; 3) Sources of the media agenda; 4); Psychology of agen da setting effects; 5) Consequences of agenda setting effects (McCombs, 200 5 ). This study will employ the following stages: basic agenda setting effects, attribute agenda setting, and sources of media agenda. They are discussed in detail below. Basic Age nda Setting Effects Basic agenda setting effects also are known as first level agenda setting. Through their day by day selection and placement of the news, editors and news directors suggest what news stories and issues are top of mind by focusing our at tention and influencing our perceptions (McCombs, 2004). The more people hear about an issue, the more likely the issue is salient with them. In journalism, the lead story on page one, the length of the story, and the size of the headline communicate how i mportant the

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52 news story is. For television news, salience is determined by how the news story is incorporated into the news program. For all news media, repeated information about the object determines how salient the object is (Carroll & McCombs, 2003; Mc Combs, 2004). Dearing and Rogers (1996) continue the discussion and suggest a larger number of messages will result in the agenda issues, persons, or objects helps determine how the public organize their own agendas. As time progresses, the agenda of the media becomes the agenda of the public. Dearing and Rogers (1996) state that it is at the heart of agenda setting process when salience of an issue changes the media agenda (includes issues discussed in the m edia), the public agenda (issues discussed among members of the public), the policy agenda (includes issues that policy makers such as legislators consider to be important), or the corporate agenda (issues that organizations such as corporations and univer sities consider important). Each of the four agendas is interrelated, in which the media helps filter and shape public opinion, which leads to salience of the issue. Attribute Agenda Setting Attribute agenda setting is called second level agenda setting. This is where describe them. Each object has many attributes. Journalist s will describe objects, public policies, political and religious leaders, and various other topics by using some attributes and not others. Additionally, the frequency of these attributes can determine its salience (McCombs, 2004). Thus, these attributes are salient in the public agenda. Ghanem (1997) proposed four dimensions of attributes: subtopics, framing mechanisms, cognitive elements, and evaluative elements. Subtopics are simply the

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53 subtopics of the object or attribute. Framing mechanisms are the delivery method of the frame, or the method (e.g. television, print, radio, or Internet) by which a frame becomes more salient among the public (Gandy, Grant, & Reese, 2001). Agenda setting effects on comprehension are described in two dimensions: substant ive attributes (cognitive) and affective (evaluative) attributes. Cognitive (substantive) and evaluative (affective) elements are elements focusing on the agenda setting effects on comprehension. Affective elements are those that arrive from emotions (Ghan em, 1997). Substantive traits are traits that include ideology and issue positions, competence, experience, or personal traits (McCombs, Lopez Escobar, & Llamas, 2000). They are derived from the logical cognitive thought process (Ghanem, 1997). These trait s are then evaluated and defined using valence (negative, neutral, and mixed) (Deephouse, Carroll, & McCombs, 2001; Fombrun & Shanley, 1990; McCombs, et al. 2000). An example of a cognitive evaluation that the news media not only mentions facts, but also feelings and tone (McCombs & Ghanem, 2001), which are absorbed by the public. This is turn elicits Bantimaroudis, & Ban, 1999). Thus, affective elements are those that arise from logical thought process (Ghanem, 1997). An example of an affective element is when the media coverage is highlights cues that Obama is an advocate for higher education. In turn, media consumers may mentally link Obama with higher education. If media consumers were asked, presidential candidate would do the best job improving the higher education system in

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54 study both substantive and affective elements simultaneously. McCombs, et al. (2000) attributes because descriptions of political candidates both in the media and by vote rs frequently are conveyed in a positive or negative tone (p. 82). However, positive media coverage does not always lead to positive public perceptions (McCombs et al., 2000). The Connection of Agenda Setting with Priming and Framing Agenda setting is rel ated to priming. Priming is a cognitive process, in which one thought may activate other thoughts. In other words, mass media images stimulate related thoughts in the minds of media consumers (Straubhaar, LaRose, & Davenport, 2012). For example, if U.S. ci their answers would focus on information that is most accessible at the time of the evaluation. Often, this information comes from the media. Weaver, McCombs, and Spellman (1975) speculated that prim ing might be a consequence of agenda setting. In later years, Iyenger and Kinder (1987) studied the issue of priming in a laboratory setting and confirmed priming did have an effect in political campaigns. They found that when television news stories on a particular issue were primed, the issue weighed more confirmed priming in real world settings (Iyengar & Simon, 1993; Krosnick & Kinder, 1990). Priming studies in real w orld settings use real issues and real data from public opinion polls. These studies are not being manufactured by the researchers to determine priming effects on an issue. An example of a study about priming in real (1990) research using the National Election

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55 Study data. They found evidence of media attention priming in voter evaluations of the president during the Iran Contra disclosure. In November 1986, President Reagan announced that the U.S. was in discussions w ith Iran to end the Iran Iraq War, end sponsored terrorism, and to release U.S. hostages being held in Lebanon. He also said that the U.S. did not trade weapons for hostages. This story ran in the news until the U.S. Attorney General announced that the mon ey from the secret sale of weapons to Iraq funded the Contras in Nicaragua. Prior to this announcement, U.S. citizens were polled regarding their assessment of Reagan. Respondents based their attitudes on various topics. One topic, foreign affairs, was rel assessment of Reagan (Krosnick & Kinder, 1990). However, after the announcement of the secret sale, the data found foreign affairs to be an important factor in determining 1990). Using the same data, Iyengar and Simon (1993) found evidence of media attention priming in voter evaluations of the president after the Persian Gulf War. Iyengar and Simon (1993) conclude their publication by suggesting that priming is an extensio n of agenda setting in that it affected the criteria by which political leaders were judged. Additionally, some researchers argue that priming actually strengthens the agenda setting base (Kempton, 1997). The second dimension of agenda setting research e xamines the transmission of attribute salience, which is about the role of the mass media in the framing of issues or objects in the public mind. Attributes of objects share similar meaning with frames in framing theory. The perspectives of the news covera ge are framed and can draw attention to certain attributes and away from others (McCombs, Shaw, & Weaver,

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56 1997). Framing is when the news media can influence attention and what people think about a topic by selecting and placing emphasis on certain attribu tes and ignoring others (Ghanem, 1997; Lopez Escobar, Llamas, McCombs, & Lennon, 1998; Wanta & Hu, 1994). It is in second level agenda setting that the media suggests how the public should think about an issue. For example, second level agenda setting is w hen the audience associates an issue that received much media attention (eg., breast cancer awareness) specifically to a company (eg., Yoplait). There have been some disagreements in the connection of framing and agenda setting theory. McCombs (1997) argu ed for a direct connection between framing and second level agenda number of thematically related attributes for inclusion on the media agenda when a ltiple researchers have conducted research connecting framing with agenda setting (Callaghan & Schnell, 2001; Coleman & Wu; 2010; Kiousis & Wu, 2008; McCombs, 2004; Yioutas & Segvic, 2003). These researchers connect framing with agenda setting through the definition of framing. Other researchers disagree and say that framing only can be used in agenda setting with the lower level attribute frames (Weaver, McCombs, & Shaw, 2004). Others still argue that theoretically, framing and agenda setting are different (Gamson, 1992; Scheufele, 2000). These authors suggest several reasons. One primary difference between framing and agenda setting is that second level agenda setting research focuses more on relationships between the media and me thin king; whereas, framing is concerned with how the media reports various objects (Weaver, et al., 2004). Another difference concerns the theoretical premise. Agenda

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57 setting focuses on attitude accessibility of salient issues that are retrieved from memory wh en making judgments about a subject (Scheufele, 2000). Scheufele (2000) further suggests framing is based on the prospect theory. Weaver, et al. (2004) define the invoke i nterpretive schemas that influence the interpretation of incoming information researchers suggest part of the difference is in the definition of attributes. Gamson (1992 metaphors, depictions, catch phrases, etc.) and reasoning devices (causes and consequences, moral claims, and appeals to principle). Some researchers assert second level agenda se tting is more analogous to symbols than reasoning devices, because symbols are easier to view as attributes than reasoning devices (Weaver, et al., 2004). Sources of the Media Agenda News directors and journalists often look to other news media for news c ontent. influence mass media agendas have on each other, which concerns how media agendas are being shaped, instead of how they are shaping the public agenda (McCombs, 2 including daily interactions among various news organizations, that creating news coverage defines the media agenda (McCombs, 2004). Additionally, news organizations seek validation of what is considered newsworthy by competing news organizations, especially elite press members ( The New York Times, The Washington Post, and national television networks).

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58 Previous research has documented empirical evidence for this process of intermedia agenda setting (e.g. King, 1994; 1997; Lim, 2006; Lopez Escobar, et al., 1998; McCombs & Shaw, 1972; Reese & Danielian, 1989; Takeshita, 2002). In general, at the national level, elite news organizations set the agendas of other news organizations; at the local level, local newspapers and television stations influence the The New York Times as an influencer of the selection of topics on the news agenda. Their study found The New coverage on the U.S. drug issue influenced The Washington Post and coverage of the issue. Some television networks also followed The issues. Much of the research on intermedia agenda setting research has focused on wire services, elite news organizations, local news organizations, and journalists. However, the researcher is unaware of any studies concerning the intermedia agenda setting function of trade publications such as The Chronicle of Higher Educat ion on news organizations. To better understand the intermedia agenda setting function on trade publications, this study will examine the intermedia agenda setting function of The Chronicle of Higher Education in relation to The New York Times, The Washing ton Post, and USA Today Agenda Setting and Public Opinion According to the agenda setting theory, the media, through providing some topics with more coverage than others, can affect the weight the public gives to certain topics. Baumgartner and Jones (1 995) and McCombs and Shaw (1972) found the public perceives issues that receive the most media attention as most important. For example, the heightened amount of media coverage regarding the U.S. economy will increase the

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59 nce. Subsequently, as mentioned earlier, how the issue is framed and primed can also determine how the public perceives the issue. Research focusing on public opinion and the mass media is plentiful. It has focused on presidential elections (Golan & Wanta 2001; Hardy & Jamieson, 2005), immigration (Dunaway, Branton, & Abrajano, 2010), presidential perceptions (Krosnick & Kinder, 1990), corporate reputation (Kiousis, et al., 2007); foreign news (Besova & Cooley, 2009); state legislative policies (Tan & Wea ver, 2009) and foreign policy (Soroka, 2003). opinion. Golan and Wanta (2001) researched the 2000 New Hampshire Republican presidential primary using second level agenda s etting. By using three newspapers in the region and comparing to the responses in Gallup Poll data, the authors found that the researchers found McCain to be covered m ore positively than George W. Bush. hand, Golan and Wanta (2001) found positive med ia coverage did not always relate to winning the primary in New Hampshire.

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60 Policy Agenda Setting/Policy Agenda Building settin g suggested another agenda to the previous agendas (media agenda and public agenda). This agenda is called policy agenda. Two years later, Rogers & Dearing (1988) concluded that agenda setting was best understood as a process among all three agendas. Alth ough most agenda setting research remains focused on media agenda and public agenda, there are scholars that look at policy agenda (Baker, 2011). Agenda setting research focusing on policy agenda is not of much interest to communication scholars. Perhaps t his is because it is difficult to assess, as well as its complex nature (Rogers, 1986). Nonetheless, communication scholars who have analyzed policy agenda have concluded that prevalent media attention on a problem influences policy (Yanovitsky, 2001). Oth effect on public policy. Cook et al., on the general public, policy makers, interest group leaders, and public policy. Results suggested the media influenced views about issue importance on the general public and policy makers. Cook, et al. (1983) found that policy change resulted from the collaboration between journalists and legislative staff members. However, other researchers have found policy a genda less affected by the media. Kingdon (1981) affect policy change. Legislators follow the media like other media consumers, and because the media affect their cons tituents. Moreover, Kingdon (2003) interviewed legislators regarding who has substantial impact on government agenda. He found the media impacted government agenda far less (26 % than interest groups (84 percent) or researchers (66 percent). In only four pe rcent of the interviews, the media were

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61 On the other hand, Yanovit media coverage related to drunk driving determined that the increased media coverage resulted in policy change. Furthermore, when the media shifted its attention away from the drunk driving issue, politi cal attention on long term solutions to the problem ended. A Nation at Risk a mid 1980s report on public K 12 education, brought national attention to the eroding public school system. Moreover, he found med education policy, provided energy to the academic standards movement, led to a focus on school accountability, and led to comprehensive school efforts. These findings are in contrast to Kingdon (2003). dilutes its impact on policy agenda building. Moreover, Kingdon (2003) found news coverage on an issue usually comes at the end of a policy making process; thus, it has little impact on government p olicy agendas. The results above are contradictory and suggest the issues studied are more complex than originally thought. Many factors, such as the media, personal experience with issues, constituents and special interest groups, etc., can build policy agenda. Due to the complexity of federal student financial aid policy, this study will not focus on policy agenda building. However, policy agenda building may be impacted by public relations agenda building.

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62 Agenda Building and Public Relations Public re lations efforts can determine and shape what is covered in the news media (Cutlip, 1962; Kaid, 1976; Sigal, 1973). Gandy (1982) suggested to researchers that they look beyond the agenda setting ( what who sets the media age to news media is known as agenda building. Dearing and Rogers (1996) suggest agenda building explains why certain information is available in the media and other details are not. Kiousis, et al. (2007) further suggest the broader con cept of agenda formation as one involving reciprocal influence among multiple groups in addition to 149). The media agenda building process relies on the relationship between the media and public relations practice. Public relations helps build the media agenda by developing information subsidies or communication pieces such as press releases, campaigns, speeches, letters, and programs as well as providing interviews and news information, while deliberately shaping the news media (Berkowitz & Adams, 1990). Moreover, the interactions of multiple groups such as media, policymakers lobbyists, interest groups, etc., have with these public relations activities can impact the agenda building process (Tedesco, 200 1). The symbiotic relationship between the sources and journalists is known as news media (Kiousis, 2004). Empirical studies on agenda building concentrate on either real world conditions r independent variables

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63 in real decline in the Northeast; thus, it is expected the media would pa y more attention to the (Sheafer & Weimann, 2005). For example, media content will fea ture stories and reports on the HHS mandate and religious liberty. After the media content is presented, a presidential candidate will discuss his stance on the issue. Most early research using agenda building theory is on the first variable; however, a fe w of these studies have found a high correlation between real world indicators and media agenda (Dearing & Rogers, 1996; Funkhouser, 1973). On the other hand, Behr and Iyengar (1985) found Most recent empirical studies on agenda building studies have focused on analyzing the effects of two kinds of information subsidies. Information subsidies is a public relations and journalism term that is used to describe the sources (advertisements, news releases, etc.) which provide the media with information regarding issues and topics. Advertisements and news releases are often the sources of data in the empirical studies of activities of political actors. These studies have focuse d on presidential elections (Kim, Xiang, & Kiousis, 2011; Ragas & Kiousis, 2008; Kiousis, et al., 2009; Walters & Walters, 1992; Walters, Walters, & Gray,1996), senatorial (Ghorpade, 1986), gubernatorial (Evatt & Bell, 1995; Kiousis, Mitrook, Wu, & Seltze r, 2006; Lancendorfer & Lee, 2003; Roberts & McCombs, 1994), state legislative (Tan & Weaver, 2009) and international (McCombs, et al., 2000). Other research has examined agenda building effects on Weekly Compilation of Presidential Documents

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64 (Wanta, 1991; Wanta & Foote, 1994) and presidential State of the Union Speeches (Johnson, Wanta, Byrd, & Lee, 1995; Wanta, Stephenson, Turk, & McCombs, 1989). The findings from these agenda building studies have found that candidate controlled strategies of communicati on influence not only what is in the news media (first level agenda building), but also how the issues and topics are described in the news media content (second level agenda building). Second level agenda nd attributes attributes and not on others, second level agenda building influences how p eople think about a topic or object. Second level agenda building includes framing. Much like agenda setting, public relations practitioners will describe objects and topics by using attributes. Some attributes can be highlighted, while others mentioned le ss frequently or not at all. Attributes may transmit valence (Kiousis, 2004). The study of influence of direction from the news media to the public is well documented. On the other hand, the direction of influence among various news sources is not well defined. In studying Weekly Compilation of Presidential documents, Wanta and Foote (1994) found that President George H. Bush influenced the media on specific issues, while on other issues it was the media that influenced other media. This study will prob e for first level and second level agenda building relationships among news Presidential press releases. The news media are The New York Times, The Wa shington Post, USA Today, The Chronicle of Higher

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65 Education, and The Associated Press These sources will focus on federal student financial aid policies and the cost of higher education. Other research focusing on the agenda setting function of the media relationship on presidential State of the Union speeches is mixed. Wanta, et al. (1989) examined addresses by former presidents Richard Nixon, Jimmy Carter and Ronald R et al. (1989) suggest reasons for their mixed results. One reason focuses on the framing of the presidents by the media. Nixon was portrayed by the media as a negative presid ent. Thus, he saw them as a dangerous adversary and was not influenced by it. Additionally, President Reagan, due to his 1980 election landslide win over incumbent Jimmy Carter, might have let his guard down; thus, he might not have seen the press as an en emy. Furthermore, situational variables may have influenced their results. The such as the economy and news events such as the Chicago Seven and the Ykblonski murder case were prominent in the news. The amount of coverage of these issues may have increased the sample size used in determining the media agenda setting function f the Union address. The sample size of the news content used in the study was much larger for Carter than for Nixon. This study hopes to add another dimension to agenda building research regarding e the content of presidential State of the Union addresses or vice versa.

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66 Media Framing in K 12 Education Policy Few empirical studies have focused on how education policy has been framed in ways that shape public opinion by directing readers to adopt par ticular policy practices (Fairclough, 200 3 ). Kingdon (2003 ) and Lawrence (2000) suggest the media, through their representation of educational problems and solutions, can determine if the public of additional resources, such as funding. By using words and pictures of an education issue, the media can aid the public in viewing the issue being highlighted as a problem in need of funding. For example, the high school dropout rate has received a nega tive tone in media coverage. The media, in framing this issue as a hindrance to our economy and a means to increase crime, has augmented public support for proposed bills by government officials to increase taxes. Money raised from the taxes would be used to fund dropout perception of education also can be related to how the media frames education. No NCLB, anti school reform, and anti Sub choosing to use this term, the media is placing a negative tone on public K 12 education. 12 educati on negatively. This has helped the U.S. government to gain support for its policy on K 12 education. In 2010, news coverage on education focused in part on closing

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67 failing schools, the expansion of charter schools, and using standardized test scores to eva unions, the media simplified the issue (Strauss, 2010). There are many reasons why public schools are failing. Some examples include children not eating properly and/or sk ipping meals because they do not have food to eat, homelessness, and being the primary caretaker of their siblings when their parent(s) is/are working. Additionally, Strauss (2010) suggests the media, through framing public education as a failure and teach 12 education. believe they are be tter; thus, they may support policies surrounding charter schools. Chapter Summary The history of federal student financial aid in the United States is roughly 100 years thro ugh a backdoor. Crises such as the civil rights movement as well as advancements student financial aid policy. The Higher Education Act of 1965 was implemented to increase acce ss to higher education by helping students attend college. Originally, the HEA provided grants to low income students. However, throughout various presidential commissions, the HEA has seen policy shifts from providing grants to providing mostly loans. The access, persistence, and graduation from college. The media does play a role in what the public thinks about. Additionally, the media can help change or implement particular f ederal policies. For example, the mass media

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68 has played a role in federal financial aid policy. In the late 1980s, defaults on student on, it also brought it to the attention of federal legislators. included changes in student financi al aid. These changes were documented in the media. Thus, the media, through its coverage on federal student financial aid, can affect what people think about. One theory, agenda setting, can be used to determine media effects of an object or an issue on t he public. It is through the transfer of salience from the media to the public that the theory premise lies. Since its seminal study by McCombs and Shaw (1972), research using agenda setting has grown and now can be categorized in five stages, all of which are actively examined. Three of the stages will be examined in the proposed study: basic agenda setting effects, attribute agenda setting, and sources of the media agenda. Basic agenda setting or first level agenda setting focuses on what objects or item attention. In attribute agenda setting or second level agenda setting, it is how the media or neutral. Research focusing on public K 12 educati on has used framing to determine how the media portrays K 12 education. Finally, sources of the media agenda, also known as intermedia agenda setting, can affect what issues are most salient in the news media. Often, a news story featured in a prominent me dia outlet also will be mentioned by a competing media outlet.

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69 Another theory that focuses on the relationship between public relations efforts and what is covered by the news media is agenda building. Often, it is through the development and disseminatio n of public relations materials (news releases, press releases, speaking engagements, etc.) that will determine what topics, such as federal student financial aid, are covered by the media. Through using both agenda setting and agenda building theories, th is proposed study hopes to determine the importance of the media on the federal student financial aid.

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70 Figure 2 1. Timeline of key events of the historical evolution of federal student financial aid from the 1932 to 2008. New Deal: Implementation of Work Study The Student War Loan Program The Student War Loan Program The National Defense Education Act The National Defense Education Act Higher Education Act of 1965 Higher Education Act of 1965 Federal Pell Grant Program Initiated State Student Incentive Grants began Middle Income Student Assitance Act Reauthorization of the HEA: More appropriatons available for student loans than grants Reauthorization of the HEA: More appropriatons available for student loans than grants HEA Reauthorization: Introduction of unsubsidized loans. Direct loan Program authorized, Methodology for determining need changed Student Loan Reform Act: Expansion of Direct Loan program and introduction of AmeriCorps Hope Scholarship Credit (tax credits) Public Law 102 139 which changed student loan interest rates implemented. The Higher Education Reconcilliation Act: Cut $12.7 billion from student aid Largest increase in federal student aid since the GI Bill

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71 Figure 2 2 term in office. Increased the Pell Grant Award from $5,231 to $5,350 American Recovery and Reinvestment Act included a tax credit and expanded the Perkins Loan Program Health Care and Education Reconciliation Act increased Pell grants to a maximum of $5,500 in 2010 Spending cuts affected funding to federal student financial aid: Elimination of year round Pell Grants Spending cuts affected funding to federal student financial aid: Elimination of in school interest exemption for graduate and professional students and an on time repayment incentive for student borrowers Investment Rate Transportation Bill was passed. This bill kept interest rates on student loans from doubling from 3.4 to 6.8 percent 2009 2009 2010 2011 2011 2012

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72 CHAPTER 3 METHODOLOGY Study Design Overview The landscape of federal student financial aid policy has gone through many c hanges in the last century. Lately, President Obama initiated policies that reformed student aid during his first term, including increasing Pell G rant funding to individuals, ending subsidies to private banks lending federally insured loans, making it eas ier for parents to apply for federal Plus loans, and setting the amount borrowers must spend on loan repayment each month to 10% of their discretionary income. Moreover, do ubling from 3.4 percent to 6.8 percent for new federal student loans Like most governmental policies, federal student financial aid and related issues receive significant media attention, such as the Student Aid and Financial Reconciliation Act and variou s issues concerning higher education affordability, including tuition, outcomes (i.e. employment after graduation), and student debt. Two mass communication theories, agenda setting and agenda building, can be employed to examine the relationship between mass communication and federal student financial aid. Agenda setting theory posits that there is a transfer of issue salience from the media to the public. In other words, agenda setting theory studies the correlations between the media and what the public thinks. It studies the source to public relationship. On the other hand, agenda building examines who sets the media agenda. It examines the source to press releases, which can be used to introduce and dis cuss issues, can build the discourse found in the media.

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73 This is one of the first studies of its kind to link agenda setting and agenda building to higher education. It hopes to begin a discussion between the two fields of higher education and mass commun ication. For higher education practitioners, researchers, and policy analysts, this study serves as a foundation to better understand the specific discourse the media uses to discuss federal student financial aid. For the field of mass communication, this study will add to the growing body of agenda setting and agenda building research by introducing a topic that is not specially studied on its own: federal student financial aid. Specifically, the purpose of this study is to investigate the agenda setting and agenda building function of mass communication related to higher education federal financial aid. More specifically, this study investigated the transfer of issue salience and tone among various communications related to federal student financial aid. Methods: Quantitative Content Analysis Quantitative content analysis is often used in analyzing mass communication messages. For instance, 25% of articles in the Journalism and Mass Communication Quarterly published between 1975 and 1995 used this method ( Riffe & Freitag, 1997). Quantitative content analysis has been used in studies examining advertising, public relations, marketing, business, and journalism. They are located in numerous journals, conference proceedings, theses, and dissertations (Abernet hy & Franke, 1996). as cited in Krippendorff, 2013 p.25). Quantitative content a nalysis is objective in that it lacks bias, an inherent characteristic of any specific research theory. In the context of quantitative content analysis, objective refers to the extent to which categorization of

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74 sections of transcripts is subject to influen ce by the coders. In quantitative content analysis, objectivity is established by previously defined theoretical constructs and operationalized as variables for later descriptive relationship analysis. Additionally, coders are trained to understand how to use the protocol and code the data. This adds to the objectivity of the study. On the other hand, in qualitative content analysis, the meaning is context dependent and subjective, a single piece of text can indeed be open to different qualitative interpre 122). Thus, Given (2008) suggests that researchers should be attentive to their own perspectives as they analyze data and to the context of the text being analyzed. Guidelines are then established to manag e data collection methods and define categories. These guidelines allow quantitative content analysis to be systematic. That is, consistent criteria are applied in a rigorous and careful way. In addition, quantitative content analysis is a replicable anal ysis of communicat ion symbols. According to Riffe, Fico, & Lacy, 26). Moreover, quantitative content analysis provide s a replicable analysis of manifest and latent content (Krippendorff, 1980). Manifest content is content that is physically phrases were found in the story. When coding mani Duch, & Campanella Bracken, 2002, p. 589). Therefore, manifest content is highly reliable (Bernard & Ryan, 2010). Latent content is the connotative meaning or the meaning people give obje cts and symbols (Riffe et al., 2005). Moreover, latent content analysis involves interpretation. The researcher reads

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75 for meaning and takes into account the context, and identifies themes or constructs (Bernard & Ryan, 2010). Lombard et al. (2002) mention that coding latent content subjective with their interpretations, which are based on their own frames of references (Potter & Levine Donnerstein, 1999, as cited in Lombard, et al., 2002). Since the focus of this method is on the communication itself, quantitative content analysis serves as a good method, especially for a longitudinal analysis (Kang Kara, Lasky, & Seaton, 1993; Rife, et al., 2005 ). It studies the message itself and not the communicator or the audience (Kassargian, 1977). Rife et al. (2005) suggest quantitative content analysis is useful in studying the use and structure of the commu observe and evaluate all forms of recorded communications in a systematic way (Kolbe & Burnett, 1991). This method can be applied to measure characters, words, themes, symbols, and items as well as space and time measures (Kassargian, 1977; Riffe et al., 2005). Quantitative content analysis uses predetermined categories to explore research questions and hypotheses, and examines communications by using a deductive approach to inqu iry (Riffe et al., 2005). Thus, quantitative content analysis is a reputable examination of communication symbols (Riffe et al., 2005). Quantitative content analysis allocates numeric values to content, which permits numeric descriptions and statistical in ference. Kolbe and Burnett (1991) and Riffe et al. (2005) suggest quantitative content analysis allows for a researcher to collect data in an unobtrusive

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76 way, which will allow for the theory to be tested empirically, and will allow new research evidence an d ideas to be generated. by Kaid and Wadsworth (1989). According to these researchers, the procedure of quantitative content analysis includes the following seven steps, w hich can overlap each other. These steps are as follows: 1) Formulate the hypothesis or research questions to be answered; 2) Select the sample to be analyzed; 3) Define the categories to be applied; 4) Outline the coding process and train coders; 5) Imple ment the coding process; 6) Determine reliability and validity; 7) Analyze the results of the coding process (Bernard & Ryan, 2010; Kaid & Wadsworth, 1989, p. 199). Formulate the Hypothesis or Research Questions to Be Answered This exploratory study employ ed one research question and 10 sub questions, which guided the study. They are: What is the role of the newspapers in federal financial student aid agenda setting and agenda overarching research question was addres sed through the following sub questions: Is there a positive relationship between the salience of federal student financial aid in there a positive relationship between the sal ience of federal student financial aid in positive relationship between the salience of federal student financial aid in advocacy The Assoc iated Press ? D. Is there a positive controlled communication and The Chronicle of Higher Education ? E. Is there a positive relationship between the salience of federal s tudent financial aid in presidential

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77 controlled communication and the newspaper coverage? F. Is there a positive relationship between the salience of federal student financial aid in presidential controlled communication and The Associated Press ? G. Is the re a positive relationship between the salience of federal student financial aid in presidential controlled communication and The Chronicle of Higher Education ? H. Is there a positive relationship between newspaper coverage and The Associated Press ? I. Is there a positive relationship between newspaper coverage and The Chronicle of Higher Education ? J. Is there a positive relationship between The Associated Press and the Chronicle of Higher Education ? K. What are the tones used when discussing federal stude nt financial aid? Select the Sample to Be Analyzed According to Wang and Tang (2006), an ideal sample is a tradeoff between the ease of study and the representativeness of the population. Therefore, it is important to define a tangible sampling frame, whic h is defined as how to draw a representative sample from the frame, and determine the size of the frame so that it is effective and efficient (Krippendorf, 1980, 2012). A time frame analysis was selected to provide the best opportunity to capture the agend a setting and agenda building function of the media in regards to federal student financial aid and the cost of college. The overall ti me frame for this study was 3.5 2009 through 2012. More specifica lly, the dates of the newspaper articles, trade publications, and news releases and press releases were December 23, 2008 July 27, speech on January 20, 2009. The stop da te (July 27, 2012) corresponds to the four week time lag after the Investment Rate Transportation Bill.

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78 In studying agenda setting effects, Winter and Eyal (1981) suggest a minimum of a four week time lag. Wahl Jorgensen and Hanitzsch (2009) define time l ags as "the optimal time that an issue must be covered in the media before the public considers it as important" (p.155). Therefore, communication content for this study was collected using a uniform time period for analysis (Neuendorf, 2002). For each pol icy and presidential speech in this study (Table 3 1), a four week time lag was used. Specifically, the time period analyzed focused on four weeks prior to each presidential speech focusing on student federal financial aid policy and specific student finan cial aid policies. This time period is called Time 1. A second time period focused on four weeks after each presidential speech focusing on student federal financial aid policy and specific financial aid policies. This time period is called Time 2. Table 3 1 includes each speech and policy analyzed in this study, the date of the speech or policy, and the time lags employed for both Time 1 and Time 2. Given that this study analyzed a total of 12 speeches and policies, 24 constructed weeks, 12 in Time 1 and 1 2 in Time 2, were developed. content can be found. The sample must be a representative of the universe, and be both a sufficient size to represent the universe and randomly selective to avoid bias. The goal of sampling is to generate a manageable frame to represent the population (Krippendorf, 1980). Therefore, the media sample selection determined included content from The New York Times, The Washington Post, USA Today The Associated Press and The Chronicle of Higher Education. The New York Times was chosen because it is considered a gatekeeper in national news coverage (Dearing & Rogers,

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79 1996; Reese & Danielian, 1989; Rogers & Chang, 1991). Additionally, The New York Time s 1981). The main newspaper in Washington, D.C., The Washington Post, was selected. Washington, D.C., is where most federal decisions are made for the United States. It is also where the headquarters for the advocacy groups used in this study are located. Moreover, The Washington Post has numerous connections to the president as a news source (Gilberg, Eyal, McCombs, & Nicolas, 1980). USA Today was chosen due to its national coverage. Content from The Associated Press will be included. The Associated Press amount of newspapers in the world (Connolly Ahern, Ahern, & Bortree, 2009). Finally, one trade publ ication, a publication that is geared to a specific audience, usually who works in a specific business, The Chronicle of Higher Education was selected. The Chronicle of Higher Education is a leader in higher education news. Additionally, this study used on ly hard line news articles. Hard news stories include up to the minute news stories and events that are reported immediately. Soft news stories, such as letters to the editor and human interest stories, were omitted from the sample. Newspaper articles, new swire articles, and trade publication articles were drawn from the LexisNexis database by using key word searches. The key words used were: Pell G rant o r federal student financial aid or federal student loans or Health Care and Education Reconciliation Act or Supplement Educational Opportunity Grant or Federal Work Study or Perkins loan program or Stafford loan program or direct student loan or student debt or college loans or cost of college or budget appropriation or college aid or cost of attendance or c ollege tuition or FAFSA or free application for federal student aid

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80 or H igher E ducation A ct or American Recovery and Reinvestment Act or Student Financial Aid and Reconciliation Act or financial aid or college or universities or higher education. To determ ine the sample size, this study used a stratified sample for inferring content. One method of stratified sampling is constructive week sampling. This method the diffe words, to determine the sample size one Sunday, one Monday, etc., is used (Table 3 2). Riffe et al. (1993) compared random, consecutive day (a convenient sample where all con secutive weekdays are used in a seven day sample), and constructed week sampling techniques and found constructive week sampling to be the most effective and time and effort efficient approach. They found that constructed week sampling to be constructed week sampling avoids the possibility of over sampling Sundays or Saturdays. Other studies found similar results (Stempel, 1952; Lacy, Riffe, Stoddard, Martin, & Chang, 2001; Rif fe, et al. questions, constructed week sampling is appropriate. To determine each constructive week sample (24 in total), a random number generator was employed. Each newspaper and The Associated Press were assigned its own random number. The number provided by the generator determined specific dates to take the sample from until each day of the week is picked. However, The Chronicle of Higher Education is a trade publication published once a week. To determ ine the

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81 sample, all articles focusing on federal student financial aid published during all the Time 1 and Time 2 periods were incorporated in this study. Prior agenda building research suggests news releases are a valid and useful source for identifying issues and agendas in political election content (Kiousis, et al., 2006; Miller, Andsager, & Reichert, 1998; Tedesco, 2001, 2005a, 2005b; Tedesco & McKinnon, 1998). It is quite possible that news releases also can be used to determine the issue s and agendas regarding federal policy such as student financial aid policy. Therefore, other sampling for this study included advocacy group press releases and news releases. According to Jon Fansmith, associate director of the American Council of Educati on (ACE), the advocacy groups chosen for this study are considered the top advocacy groups for student federal financial aid (personal communication, February 8, 2012). Additionally, these groups are considered members of the Presidential Six or the Big Si x Associations. The Presidential Six are the major higher education associations in the country. These advocacy groups include ACE, the national coordinating body for higher education in the United States. Also included are the Association of American Univ ersities (AAU), and the American Association of State Colleges and Universities (AASCU). Other advocacy groups include Association of Public and Land Grant Universities (APLU) and the National Association of Independent Colleges and Universities (NAICU ). T he American Association of Community Colleges (AACC) was not included in the sample. Their 2009 2011 press releases were not stored on file and they were not able to reproduce them. According to Fansmith, these three organizations are important players in federal student financial aid advocacy (personal communication, February 8, 2012). Finally, the sample included presidential press

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82 the period January 2009 to July 2012, as wel l as his State of the Union addresses. Higher websites. In the case where the news releases were not located on the website, news releases were supplied directly from the ad presidential speeches and press releases were drawn from the Presidential website. All during the time periods employed in this stu dy were included in the sample. For this study, a total of 109 higher education adv in Time 1 and 36 in Time 2), 70 presidential press releases and speeches (35 in Time 1 and 35 in Time 2), 476 newspaper articles (20 1 in Ti me 1 and 275 in Time 2), 334 The Associated Press articles (225 in Time 1 and 109 in Time 2), and 17 8 trade publication articles (98 in Time 1 and 80 in Time 2) were collected and analyzed. More specifically, a total number of issue mentions coded across t he content in Time 1 were 23,260. The breakdown of issue mentions is as follows: 561 issues mentions were in advocacy con trolled communications, 7,911 issue mentions were in newspaper covera ge, 9,110 issue mentions were in The A ssociated P ress and 2,761 issue mentions were in The Chronicle of Higher Education. A total number of issue mentions coded across the content in Time 2 were 19,939. The breakdown of issue mentions for Time 2 is as fol mentions were in presidential cont rolled communications, 11,835 issue mentions were

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83 in newspaper coverage, 3,022 issue mentions were in The A ssociated P ress and 2,236 issue m entions were in The Chronicle of Higher Education Define the Categories to Be Applied Categories should be exhaustive and mutually exclusive. They also should be 1981 ). The categories chosen for this dissertation were both substantive and form categories. Substantive categories focus on what is said or communicated. Form positive, negative, and n eutral). For this study, coding categories (also known as issue ACE assistant director. Other coding categories or words relating to federal student financial aid were developed from reading the communication content sample. They are The next step is to determine keywords that will represent and measure mentions in these categories. These key words are considered attributes. These key words appeared in the content to be analyzed. Words relating to student financial aid were chosen. To determine key words, the researcher interviewed Fansmith for words that are used often to describe student financial aid. Additionally, the words came from reading the data collected (new s releases, press releases, and newspaper articles). A thesaurus also was used to determine key words (Kiousis, 2005). Additional categories and word lists that should be incorporated into the coding process, files containing news articles, press releases, news releases, and speeches, were uploaded to the

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84 specialized software for quantitative content analysis, Diction 6.0. These files ran through the count feature of the program. Once completed, the categories and word lists were added to Diction as custom dictionaries and the files were processed by the program. Once the frequency of words and tone for each of the legislative policies was complete, the data was incorporated into the SPSS statistical software package for analysis. Finally, a unit of analysis must be selected for every category (Kaid & Wadsworth, 1989). The unit of analysis for this study was the press release, the speech, or news article. Outline the Coding Process and Train Coders A coding sheet (see Appendix A) was developed to input answer s. Moreover, a written codebook (protocol) (see Appendix B) that defined the study in general and the coding rules in detail was created. This documentary record included written definitions that are sufficiently clear and discussed the procedures of codin g as straightforwardly as possible. Also, it was written in an organized manner in three parts: The first section was an introduction that specified the goals for the study and generally introduced the major concepts and their definitions. The second part of the protocol specified procedures on how the content should be processed. The third section included categories used in the quantitative content analysis. Also included were operational definitions for each category, with definitions of the values of ea ch subcategory. In other words, these were the actual directions used by the coders to assign values to particular categories and subcategories. The protocol was defined prior to the development of the code sheet. The coding sheet included categories liste d in the protocol and followed the order on the protocol. Coding sheet categories included newspaper name, date, theme categories, and valence categories. Categories used related to the research questions.

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85 The following lists were the coding categories u sed in this study. They are broken down into three sections: issues categories, policy categories, and stakeholder categories. The issue categories contained issues that were found in reading the research data. They are followed, in parentheses, by key wo rds that were used to identify the issue agendas in federal student financial aid. These issue categories are as follows: Economy (recession, economic downturn, financial meltdown, economic crisis, economy concerns, job security, economy, Great Depression, Great Recession, economic growth) Attendance and Efficacy (attend, attendance, access, economic hardship, equity, efficacy, persistence, underrepresented) Cost of College (cost of college, college cost, costs of getting a degree, college price, sticker pr ice, tuition, affordability, affordable, afford, cost, cost of books, room and board, student fees, fees, tuition and fees, tuition fees, tuition, price out, accountable, up, going up, increase, skyrocketing, down, going down, decrease) Student Loans (stud ent loan, student loans, loan, loans, government backed loans issued by the private sector, federally guaranteed, direct loans issued by the government, direct, directly, Student Loan Corporation, Sallie Mae, student loan system, lower payments, manage, no n traditional loans, defaults) Higher Education/Education (investment, important, good, success, commitment, luxury, economic imperative, high priority, priorities, prioritize) Student Aid/Financial Aid (student aid, financial aid, aid, ineligible, invest, level funded, price controls, subsidy, subsidizing, budget appropriations, college appropriations, recessionary periods, reconciliation, discretionary income, tax increase, inflation rates, stiff test) Outcomes (high skilled work force, mounting student d ebt, debt, mountain of debt, $25,000 average, credit cards, credit card debt, unemployment rate, national priority, Occupy Movement, protest, protestors, college degree, degree, under employment, under employed, welfare, future, work, employment, looking f or work, searching, security, economic growth, bankrupt, bankruptcy, income, incomes, American issue, future, economic prosperity, hopes, dreams, college major, major in college, major, jobless,)

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86 The policy categories, which are followed by key words in pa rentheses, were used to identify the policy agendas in federal student financial aid and are as follows: Federal Financial Aid Application ( Free Application for Federal Student Aid, FAFSA, FAFSA Simplification, W 2 Forms, simple, easy, easier) Pell G rants (entitlement, increase, fewer, raise, higher level, eligible, maximum, max, minimum, bare minimum, safeguard, earn) Federal Student Loan Programs (consolidate, consolidation, creditors, default, deficit reduction measures, double interest rates, doubling interest rates, flexible, guaranteed repayment terms, in school interest subsidy, subsidies, repayment rate, rate cuts, up front fees, loan repayment programs, debt relief, interest payments, cost of college loans, outrage, cap, useful cap, payments, lowe r monthly payments, repayment, repayments, repayment plan, student loan interest pay as you earn, tax credit, over haul) Tuition Tax Credit (tuition, tuition tax credit, extend, saving, worthy measure) Work Study (Federal Work Study, work study, work/study, doubling, jobs, earn) The stakeholder categories, followed by keywords in parentheses, were used to identify the stakeholder agendas in federal student financial aid an d are as follows: Higher Education Associations (National Association of Independent College and Universities; Association of American Universities; American Council on Education; American Association of State Colleges and Universities; American Associatio n of Community Colleges; Association of Public Land Grant Universities; National Association of Student Financial Aid Administrators, National Commission on Fiscal Responsibility and Reform, College Board) ople, non traditional students, traditional students, working adults, recipients, young people, people, Millennial, Millennials, Generation Y, Generation Z, Generation X, immigrants, undocumented students, minority, minorities) To stay consistent with pri or agenda setting and agenda building research, salience is determined by the frequency of object and attribute mentions in newspaper

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87 coverage and controlled communication from the President of the United States (hereinto presidential controlled communicat ion) and advocacy groups. Training of c oders Each coder had a similar academic background (Stempel & Westley, 1981). For Time 1, the first coder was experienced in the communication field and in quantitative content analysis; whereas, the second coder wa s experienced in higher education. For Time 2, the first coder that was used in Time 1 continued to code. However, a new second coder experienced in both mass communications and higher education was employed. Due to time commitments, the second coder used in Time 1 was not available to code in Time 2. The coders were trained at the beginning of the coding process. A complete discussion of the research, use of the protocol, and definitions of each category was provided. To ensure reliability, the researcher provided articles used in this study was provided. The researcher then was able to clar ify after the initial training session, a spot check was conducted. Spot checks allow the researcher to determine how the coding process is progressing and to check with item confusion (Kaid & Wadsworth, 1989). Implementing the Coding Process Computer assisted textural analysis (CATA) can code large bodies of text easily and quickly. Kaid and Wadsworth (1989) suggest that CATA can reduce the time needed for counting, generate h igh reliability, assure greater degrees of reproducibility, and lower the degree of research bias. Moreover, a growing body of agenda setting research has used CATA programs for coding (Ragas, 2010). Thus, Diction 6.0 was the

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88 CATA program chosen to code th e data. However, CATA programs have difficulty in accounting for communication context (Kaid & Wadsworth, 1989). To alleviate this problem, agenda setting research using CATA programs generally focus on coding of objects, such as issues with candidates, wh ich require fewer contexts than coding for frames of substantive attributes (Ragas, 2010). It was expected that this agenda setting and agenda building investigation would have a large quantity of documents to code. Due to the time it can take to manually code all communication documents, Diction 6.0 was chosen to code the data. According to the Diction 6.0 webpage (n.d.), Diction 6.0 and produces numeric files for statistical analysi s Additionally, the program accepts PDF, Microsoft Word, RTF, and HTML documents for processing. Diction 6.0 was developed by two professors, Roderick P. Hart, dean of the College of Communication at the University of Texas at Austin and Dr. Craig Carrol l, visiting scholar at the New York University School of Business and Senior Research Fellow at the Reputation Institute ( DigiText, Inc., 2011 ; Neuendorf, 2002) Dr. Hart researches political communication, often focusing on tone, while Dr. Carroll researc hes corporate communications, agenda setting, and agenda building. Together, they designed Diction to study political discourse, corporate annual reports, crisis communication, media reports, and other communication based documents (Hart & Carroll, 2008). Since its inception, Diction has been used to code data in more than 200 research articles (see www.dictionsoftware.com for a complete list), which often focus on tone, agenda setting theory, agenda building theory, and rhetorical studies. To code the data,

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89 Diction 6.0 uses a deductive approach where documents are compared to the cross comparisons with other texts pr ocessed by Diction 6.0 (Hart & Carroll, 2008). Furthermore, it analyzes the implied meaning of a text. Moreover, Diction 6.0 determines the valiance of a verbal message by searching passages for general and sub features. This computer program uses 40 dicti onaries of 10,000 words to measure five general features (Hart & Carroll, 2009). These features are as follows: 1) Certainty Language indicating resoluteness, inflexibility, and completeness and a tendency to speak ex cathedra (or from authority) ; 2) Act ivity Language featuring movement, change, the implementation of ideas and the avoidance of inertia; 3) Optimism Language endorsing some person, group, concept or event, or highlighting their positive entailments; 4) Realism Language describing tangi ble, immediate, recognizable matters that affect people's everyday lives; 5) Commonality Language highlighting the agreed upon values of a group and rejecting ). Dictionaries also may be custom mad e to aid in the data analysis process. In addition, specific textural regions for inclusion and exclusion, and identify specific speakers or ll, 2008, p. 216). Determine Reliability and Validity Coder reliability and validity is essential in quantitative content analysis methodology. In quantitative et al., 2005, p. 123). To determine reliability of the study, human judgment was used to determine which news stories and press releases were to be included or omitted. To determine reliability of the selection process of the news stories and press releas es, 10 percent of the sample was randomly selected to be double coded for agreement. For both time periods, two trained coders

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90 were used to access the reliability the 10 percent sample. Once the coding was ore coders code the same set of data pi pi is a ration of actual differences between observed and expected agreement ove r the maximum difference between observed and expected agreement (Kaid & Wadsworth, 1989, p. 209). Scott (1955) suggests this formula for intercoder reliability accounts for complex categories, f categories and the pi helps protect against chance agreement among coders pi is superior to like index, as this index does not correct for chanc e agreement (Krippendor f 2013). pi, a minimum 0.75 percentage of agreement is pi intercoder reliability was .87. The lowest category intercoder reliability was .80 and was f or the frame of the issue. The highest category for intercoder reliability was .99 for number of word counts As previously stated, this study used only hard line news articles. Soft news stories, such as letters to the edi tor and human interest stories, were omitted from the sample. Moreover, only news releases and press releases focusing on federal student financial aid and the cost of college were included in the sample. In addition, the sample included presidential speec hes focusing specifically on federal student financial aid, as well as the State of the Union addresses. Including soft stories and topics that do not

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91 specifically relate to federal student financial aid and the cost of college will affect the validity. V alidity is not easily determined in a quantitative content analysis (Kaid & Wadsworth, 1989). The best way to determine validity in quantitative content analysis is Another suggestion to determine validity in quantitative content analysis considers evaluation. Stacks (2002) suggests the content be valid by evaluating the specifications of the units of analysis, how the units are defined, and whether the category syste m meets the five criteria: 1) that categories are unique, 2) that placement is not dependent on other category systems, 3) that categories are exhaustive, 4) that categories are independent, and finally, 5) that the categories mirror a common classificatio n system. To make sure all the categories are met, the researcher tested the categories by coding five percent of the sample that was not selected. Analyze the Results of the Coding Process Quantitative research was used to analyze the data. In particular, Spearman rho rank order correlation was employed to test the first 10 sub questions to determine if the frequency of each attribute is correlated in the controlled communications between the advocacy groups and presidential, and advocacy groups and news paper coverage, advocacy groups and The Associated Press advocacy groups and The Chronicle of Higher Education presidential and newspaper coverage, presidential and The Associated Press presidential and The Chronicle of Higher Education, and The Associa ted Press and agenda Spearman rho rank order correlations have been used in several agenda setting studies (e.g., Kiousis, et al. 2007; Kiousis & Xu Wu, 2008; McCombs & Bell, 1996; McCombs & Shaw, 1972;

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92 Ragas, 2011) Moreover, this study is exploratory in nature; therefore, a correlational approach is appropriate for establishing the linkages among the various agendas order correlations are a nonparametric test, which tests for a relationship between two ranked variables and is moment correlations (Mendenhall, Beaver, & the hypothesis of two popula tions that do not have an association. McCall (1994) and study. order correlation coe fficient is shown in Equation 3 1. Equation 3 1 ) measures not only a linear relationship between two variables but also other monotonic relationships, or either when y in creases as x increases or y decreases as x rho rank order correlation, all issues were ranked according to their frequency (salience) in all four data sets from least to greatest. From these rankings, a as calculated to determine the relationships of the first 10 sub questions. A Chi s quare was used to test the final sub question. This question related to the valence of tone (positive, neutral, and negative) about federal student financial aid from the va rious communicatio n agendas under study. The Chi s quare test is an analysis of cate gorical data. Usually, the Chi s quare tests whether two categorical variables

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93 forming a contingency table are related. However, this study employed three categorical variabl es (negative, neutral, and positive). In other words, Chi s quare tests compare the frequencies in suggested categories by chance (Field, 2009). T he expression used for the Chi s quare s tatistic is shown in Equation 3 2: Equation 3 2 In particular, to measure this hypothesis I determined the valence of each of the five tones (master variables) determined by Diction 6.0 (Certainty, Activity, Optimism, Realism, and Commonality). Before using Chi s quares to determine tone, z scores previously mentioned, the five tones are composed by a formula (Table 3 3 for definitions and formula for each tone). Valence (negative, neutral, and positive) cutoff marks were determined by the range of each of the five tones and by using the minimum and maximum values of each tone. Once negat ive, neutral, and positive values were determined, Chi squares were used to determine the negative tone, neutral tone, and positive tone of the controlled communications from newspaper coverage, The Associated Press, The Chronicle of Higher Education pres idential, and advocacy groups. Limitations One limitation of this study is that quantitative content analysis is limited by availability of material. Gatekeepers may have impacted the amount of communication content available to the researcher. Perhaps no t all press releases and news releases were made available to the researcher by the various advocacy groups. Also, perhaps not all the newspaper articles and newswire pieces were made available in the

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94 LexisNexis database. Lacking a complete sample of all c ommunication content may skew the results and lead to bias. Another limitation could be found in the selection of second coders. These coders must be familiar enough with the content and the methodology. They must also be of similar background and cultu re. This study employed three coders. One coder used in Time 1 was not available to code Time 2. This might have led to a difference in the results. Moreover, certain terms relating to federal financial aid were included in the key word list. Despite best intentions by the researcher, words that relate to federal financial aid may not have been determined, and thus, not included in this study. Not including these words also may have skewed the results.

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95 Table 3 1. Speeches and policies used in this study Speech/Policy Year Date Time 1 Time 2 Type Inauguration Speech/ American Recovery Act (Stimulus Bill) 2009 1/29/2009; 2/17/2009 12/23/2008 1/29/2009; 1/20/2009 2/17/2009 1/30/2009 2/26/2009; 2/18/2009 3/17/2009 Speech/ Policy Remarks by the President on Higher Education 2009 4/24/2009 3/27/2009 4/24/2009 4/24/2009 5/22/2009 Speech Graduation Initiative 2009 7/14/2009 6/16/2009 7/14/2009 7/15/2009 8/11/2009 Speech Student Aid Financial Responsibility Act (SAFRA) 2009 9/17/2009 8/20/2009 9/ 17/2009 9/18/2009 10/15/2009 Policy State of the Union Address/ Remarks by the President on the Budget 2010 1/27/2010; 2/1/2010 12/30/2009 1/27/2010; 1/4/2010 2/1/2010 1/28/2010 2/24/2010; 2/2/2010 3/1/2010 Speech/ Speech Health Care and Education Reconc iliation Act (HCRA) 2010 3/30/2010 3/2/2010 3/30/2010 3/31/2010 4/27/2010 Policy Remarks by the President on Higher Education and the Economy at the University of Texas at Austin 2010 8/9/2010 7/12/2010 8/9/2010 8/10/2010 9/6/2010 Speech State of the Uni on Address 2011 1/25/2011 12/28/2010 1/25/2011 1/26/2011 2/22/2011 Speech Remarks by the President on College Affordability 2011 10/26/2011 9/28/2011 10/26/2011 10/27/2011 11/23/2011 Speech State of the Union Address 2012 1/24/2012 12/27/2011 1/24/2012 1 /25/2012 2/21/2012 Speech Remarks by the President on College Affordability 2012 4/25/2012 3/28/2012 4/25/2012 4/26/2011 5/23/2012 Speech Investment Rate Transportation Bill 2012 6/29/2012 6/1/2012 6/29/2012 6/30/2012 7/27/2012 Policy

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96 Table 3 2. Constr ucted week example Time 1 for each speech or policy Time 2 for each speech of policy Newspapers: The New York Times and The Washington Post 1 Sun. 1 Mon. 1 Tues. 1 Wed. 1Thurs. 1 Fri. 1 Sat. 1 Sun. 1 Mon. 1 Tues. 1 Wed. 1Thurs. 1 Fri. 1 Sa t. Newspapers: USA Today (as circulation is only Monday Friday) 1 Mon. 1 Tues. 1 Wed. 1Thurs. 1 Fri. 1 Mon. 1 Tues. 1 Wed. 1Thurs. 1 Fri. The Associated Press 1 Sun. 1 Mon. 1 Tues. 1 Wed. 1Thurs. 1 Fri. 1 Sat. 1 Sun. 1 Mon. 1 Tues. 1 Wed. 1Thur s. 1 Fri. 1 Sat.

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97 Table 3 3. DICTION 6.0 Definition of t ones and formula used to calculate t ones Tones Definition Formula Certainty Language indicating resoluteness, inflexibility, and completeness and a tendency to speak ex cathedra (or from a uthority) [Tenacity + Leveling + Collectives + Insistence] [Numerical Terms + Ambivalence + Self Reference + Variety] Optimism Language endorsing some person, group, concept or event or highlighting their positive entailments. [Praise + Satisfaction + Inspiration] [Blame + Hardship + Denial] Activity Language featuring movement, change, the implementation of ideas and the avoidance of inertia. [Aggression + Accomplishment + Communication + Motion] [Cognitive Terms + Passivity + Embellishment] Realism Language describing tangible, immediate, recognizable everyday lives. [Familiarity + Spatial Awareness + Temporal Awareness + Present Concern + Human Interest + Concreteness] [Past Concern + Complexity] Commonal ity Language highlighting the agreed upon values of a group and rejecting idiosyncratic modes of engagement. [Centrality + Cooperation + Rapport] [Diversity + Exclusion + Liberation] ting the above 31 dictionary scores (Digitext, 2010).

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98 Table 3 4 DICTION 6.0 Definition of attributes which make up each t one Attributes of Tone Definition Tenacity All uses of the verb to be (is, am, will, shall), three definitive verb forms (has, m ust, do) and their confidence and totality. Leveling Words used to ignore individual differences and to build a sense of completeness and assurance. Included ar e totalizing terms (everybody, anyone, each, fully), adverbs of permanence (always, completely, inevitably, consistently), and resolute adjectives (unconditional, consummate, absolute, open and shut). Collectives Singular nouns connoting plurality that fu nction to decrease specificity. These words reflect a dependence on categorical modes of thought. Included are social groupings (crowd, choir, team, humanity), task groups (army, congress, legislature, staff) and geographical entities (county, world, kingd om, republic). Insistence This is a measure of code restriction and semantic contentedness. The assumption is that repetition of key terms indicates a preference for a limited, ordered world. Numerical Terms Any sum, date, or product specifying the fact s in a given case. This dictionary treats each isolated integer as a single word and each separate group of integers as a single word. In addition, the dictionary contains common numbers in lexical format (one, tenfold, hundred, zero) as well as terms indi cating numerical operations (subtract, divide, multiply, percentage) and quantitative topics (digitize, tally, mathematics). The presumption is that Numerical Terms hyper specify a claim, thus detracting from its universality. Ambivalence Words expressing to the verbalization being made. Included are hedges ( allegedly perhaps, might ) statements of inexactness ( almost, approximate, vague, somewhere ) and confusion ( baffle d, puzzling, hesitate). Also included are words of restrained possibility ( ) and mystery ( dilemma, guess, suppose, seems). Self Reliance All first person references including Self reference s are treated as acts of indexing whereby the locus of action appears to reside in the speaker and not in the world at large thereby implicitly acknowledging the speaker s limited vision. Variety Toke n Ratio which divides the number of avoidance of overstatement and a preference for precise, molecular statements.

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99 Table 3 4. Continued Attributes of Tone Defi nition Praise Affirmations of some person, group, or abstract entity. Included are terms isolating important social qualities (dear, delightful, witty), physical qualities (mighty, handsome, beautiful), intellectual qualities (shrewd, bright, vigilant, r easonable), entrepreneurial qualities (successful, conscientious, renowned), and moral qualities (faithful, good, noble). All terms in this dictionary are adjectives. Satisfaction Terms associated with positive affective states (cheerful, passionate, happ iness), with moments of undiminished joy (thanks, smile, welcome) and pleasurable diversion (excited, fun, lucky), or with moments of triumph (celebrating, pride, auspicious). Also included are words of nurturance: healing, encourage, secure, relieved. In spiration Abstract virtues deserving of universal respect. Most of the terms in this dictionary are nouns isolating desirable moral qualities (faith, honesty, self sacrifice, virtue) as well as attractive personal qualities (courage, dedication, wisdom, me rcy). Social and political ideals are also included: patriotism, success, education, justice. Blame Terms designating social inappropriateness ( mean, naive, sloppy, stupid ) as well as downright evil ( fascist, blood thirsty, repugnant, malicious ) compose t his dictionary. In addition, adjectives describing unfortunate circumstances ( bankrupt, rash, morbid, embarrassing ) or unplanned vicissitudes ( weary, nervous, painful, detrimental) are included. The dictionary also contains outright denigrations : cruel, il legitimate, offensive, miserly. Hardship This dictionary contains natural disasters (earthquake, starvation, tornado, pollution), hostile actions (killers, bankruptcy, enemies, vices) and censurable human behavior (infidelity, despots, betrayal). It also includes unsavory political outcomes (injustice, slavery, exploitation, rebellion) as well as normal human fears (grief, unemployment, died, apprehension) and in capacities (error, cop outs, weakness). Denial A dictionary consisting of standard negative c words (nor, not, nay), and terms designating null sets (nothing, nobody, none). Aggression A dictionary embracing human competition and forceful action. Its terms connote physical energy (blast, c rash, explode, collide), social domination (conquest, attacking, dictatorships, violation), and goal directedness (crusade, commanded, challenging, overcome). In addition, words associated with personal triumph (mastered, rambunctious, pushy), excess human energy (prod, poke, pound, shove), disassembly (dismantle, demolish, overturn, veto) and resistance (prevent, reduce, defend, curbed) are included.

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100 Table 3 4. Continued Attributes of Tone Definition Accomplishment Words expressing task completion (es tablish, finish, influence, proceed) and organized human behavior (motivated, influence, leader, manage). Includes capitalistic terms (buy, produce, employees, sell), modes of expansion (grow, increase, generate, construction) and general functionality (ha ndling, strengthen, succeed, outputs). Also included is programmatic language: agenda, enacted, working, leadership. Communication Terms referring to social interaction, both face to face (listen, interview, read, speak) and mediated (film, videotape, tel ephone, e mail). The dictionary includes both modes of intercourse (translate, quote, scripts, broadcast) and moods of intercourse (chat, declare flatter, demand). Other terms refer to social actors (reporter, spokesperson, advocates, preacher) and a var iety of social purposes (hint, rebuke, respond, persuade). Motion Terms connoting human movement (bustle, job, lurch, leap), physical processes (circulate, momentum, revolve, twist), journeys (barnstorm, jaunt, wandering, travels), speed (lickety split, n imble, zip, whistle stop), and modes of transit (ride, fly, glide, swim). Cognitive Terms Words referring to cerebral processes, both functional and imaginative. Included are modes of discovery ( learn, deliberate, consider, compare ) and domains of study ( biology, psychology, logic, economics ). The dictionary includes mental challenges (question, forget, re examine, paradoxes ), institutional learning practices ( graduation, teaching, classrooms ), as well as three forms of intellection: intuitional ( invent, p erceive, speculate, interpret ) rationalistic ( estimate, examine, reasonable, strategies ), and calculative ( diagnose, analyze, software, fact finding ). Passivity Words ranging from neutrality to inactivity. Includes terms of compliance ( allow, tame, appea sement ), docility ( submit, contented, sluggish ), and cessation ( arrested, capitulate, refrain, yielding ). Also contains tokens of inertness ( backward, immobile, silence, inhibit ) and disinterest ( unconcerned, nonchalant, stoic ), as well as tranquility ( qui etly, sleepy, vacation) Embellishment modification slows down a verbal passage by de emphasizing human and material action Embellishment is calculated accordin g to the following formula: [Praise + Blame +1] [Present Concern + Past Concern +1].

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101 Table 3 4. Continued Attributes of Tone Definition Familiarity most common words in the English language. Included are common prepositions (across, over, through), demonstrative pronouns (this, that) and interrogative pronouns (who, what), and a variety of particles, conjunctions and connectives (a, for, so). Spatia l Awareness Terms referring to geographical entities, physical distances, and modes of measurement. Included are general geographical terms (abroad, elbow room, locale, outdoors) as well as specific ones (Ceylon, Kuwait, Poland). Also included are politica lly defined locations (county, fatherland, municipality, ward), points on the compass (east, southwest) and the globe (latitude, coastal, border, snowbelt), as well as terms of scale (kilometer, map, spacious), quality (vacant, out of the way, disoriented) and change (pilgrimage, migrated, frontier.) Temporal Awareness Terms that fix a person, idea, or event within a specific time interval, thereby signaling a concern for concrete and practical matters. The dictionary designates literal time ( century, inst ant, mid morning ) as well as metaphorical designations ( lingering, seniority, nowadays ). Also included are calendrical terms ( autumn, year round, weekend ), elliptical terms ( spontaneously, postpone, transitional ), and judgmental terms ( premature, obsolete, punctual ). Present Concern A selective list of present terms, all of which occur with great frequency in standard American English. The dictionary is not topic specific but points instead to general physical activity (cough, taste, sing, take), social operations (canvass, touch, govern, meet), and task performance (make, cook, print, paint). Human Interest eir activities gives discourse a life like quality. Included are standard personal pronouns (he, his, ourselves, them), family members and relations (cousin, wife, grandchild, uncle), and generic terms (friend, baby, human, persons). Concreteness A large dictionary possessing no thematic unity other than tangibility and materiality. Included are sociological units (peasants, African Americans, Catholics), occupational groups (carpenter, manufacturer, policewoman), and political alignments (Communists, cong ressman, Europeans). Also incorporated are physical structures (courthouse, temple, store), forms of diversion (television, football, CD ROM), terms of accountancy (mortgage, wages, finances), and modes of transportation (airplane, ship, bicycle). In addit ion, the dictionary includes body parts (stomach, eyes, lips), articles of clothing (slacks, pants, shirt), household animals (cat, insects, horse) and foodstuffs (wine, grain, sugar ), and general elements of nature (oil, silk, sand).

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102 Table 3 4. Continued Attributes of Tone Definition Past Concern The past tense forms of the verbs contained in the Present Concern dictionary. Complexity A simple measure of the average number of characters per word in a given input file. Borrows implications unclear. Rapport This dictionary describes attitudinal similarities among groups of people. Included are terms of affinity (congenial, camaraderie, companion), assent (appro ve, vouched, warrants), deference (tolerant, willing, permission), and id entity (equivalent, resemble, consensus). Diversity Words describing individuals or groups of individuals differing from the norm. Such distinctiveness may be comparatively neutral (inconsistent, contrasting, non conformist) but it can also be positive (exceptional, unique, individualistic) and negative (illegitimate, rabble rouser, extremist). Functionally, heterogeneity may be an asset (far flung, dispersed, diffuse) or a liability (factionalism, deviancy, quirky) as can its characterizations: rare vs. queer, variety vs. jumble, distinctive vs. disobedient. Exclusion A dictionary describing the sources and effects of social isolation. Such seclusion can be phrased passively ( displa ced, sequestered ) as well as positively ( self contained, self sufficient ) and negatively ( outlaws, repudiated ). Moreover, it can result from voluntary forces ( secede, privacy ) and involuntary forces ( ostracize, forsake, discriminate ) and from both personal ity factors ( small mindedness, loneliness ) and political factors ( right wingers, nihilism ). Exclusion is often a dialectical concept: hermit vs. derelict, refugee vs. pariah, discard vs. spurn ). Liberation Terms describing the maximizing of individual cho ice (autonomous, open minded, options) and the rejection of social conventions (unencumbered, radical, released). Liberation is motivated by both personality factors (eccentric, impetuous, flighty) and political forces (suffrage, liberty, freedom, emancipa tion) and may produce dramatic outcomes (exodus, riotous, deliverance) or subdued effects (loosen, disentangle, outpouring). Liberatory terms also admit to rival characterizations: exemption vs. loophole, elope vs. abscond, uninhibited vs. outlandish. Not e: All definitions are from the user manual for Di ction 6 .0 (pp. 5 9)

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103 CHAPTER 4 FINDINGS The purpose of this chapter is to present the findings from the data analyses that were conducted to investigate the primary research question and research sub que stions guiding this study. The findings presented in this chapter include results order correlations. Next, valence of tone (positive, negative, or neutral connotations) was determined by using Chi squares. This chapter culmina tes with highlights of the results from the data analysis. Data Analysis: Agenda Setting and Agenda Building The first 11 sub questions probe for agenda setting and agenda building relationships at an individual level (within each speech or policy). These sub questions assess the transfer of issue salience among the frequencies of source controlled information subsidies (presidential news releases and presidential speeches and st ories, produced federal student financial aid news stories, and produced newswire news stories. Results are presented for both Time 1 (four weeks prior to each analyzed speech or policy) and Time 2 (four weeks after each analyzed speech or policy). Agenda setting research that focuses on a two way exchange of salience among source controlled information subsidies and news media content is called agenda building (Berkowitz & Adams, 1990; Turk, 1985; Turk & Franklin, 1987). Tables 4 1 to 4 24 display each of these individual level correlations by each speech or policy. order correlations for the field of higher education is the ranking of the issue categories. Issue categories are based on the frequency of the attributes or mentions of the attributes that make up each issue

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104 attributes: Federal Work Study, work study, work/study, doubling, jobs, and earn The issue category wi th the highest frequency of attributes is ranked as 1. The second ranked issue category has the second highest frequency of attributes. Issue categories were ranked from one to 14. If there are two or more issue categories with the same frequency count, an average of the ranks was calculated by the ranks that they otherwise would occupy For example, if two attributes are tied for third, the ranking would be calculated by averaging the two ranks (3+4/2=3.5). The answer is assigned to each of these "tied" sc ores. These rankings suggest the importance of the issue categories by the president, advocacy groups, newspapers, news service, and the trade publication used in this study. Table s 4 36 include s the descriptive statisti cs for the issues in Time 1. Table 4 37 include s the descriptive statisti cs for the issues in Time 2. For each of the relationships studied, the rankings used to determine correlations for one comparison is included. The criterion for selecting the comparison to report is based on 1) corr elation was deemed as significant at <.05 (one tail); and 2) the rankings highlight the change in the importance of the issue categories throughout the categories for the dependent variables in a specific speech o r policy. The following sections discuss the results from all the relationships analyzed for this study. More specifically, only significant positive correlation ( <.05) is mentioned. Also, rankings of the issue categories for various speeches and polici es are included. Higher Education Advocacy Groups The first sub question, 1A, inquired if there was a positive relationship between the

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105 and newspaper coverage. In T ime 1, out of the seven possible comparisons, two (29%) were found to have a positive correlations ( < .05 (one tail)). The median correlation coefficient was .346. The two comparisons in Time 1 that had a statistically positive relationship at the < .05 level are the 2009 Inauguration Address/ARA Bill and the Investment Rate Transportation Bill. In Time 2, one out of nine (11%) comparisons was found to have a positive correlation ( <.05 (one tail)). The median correlation coefficient was .17. The comparison that attained significance ( <.05 (one tail)) is tive speech. Table 4 Address for advocacy groups and the newspaper coverage during Time 1. This table cy issue category. These attributes include, but are not limited to: s tudent aid, financial aid, aid, i neligible, invest, level funded, and college appropriations (Appen dix B). For category. Attributes mentioned in this issue category include, but are not limited to: c the discourse. Moreover, for both advocacy groups and newspapers, there were no mentions of attrib The second sub question, 1B, inquired if there was a positive relationship between

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106 communication and the presidential controlled messages. Significant comparisons in three out of seven comparisons (29%) were found during Time 1 ( < .05 (one tail)). The median correlation coefficient was .377. These comparisons are 2010 State of the Union Address/Remarks by the President on the Budget, the 2011 State of the Union Address, and the Investment Rate Transportation Bill. For Time 2, t hree out of the nine comparisons (33%) had a positive relationship ( < .05 (one tail)). The median correlation coefficient was .337. These comparisons are the 2009 Inauguration Address/ARA Bill, 2009 Student Aid and Fiscal Responsibilities Act, and the 2 012 State of the Union Address. Table 4 26 ranks the data from the 2012 State of the Union Address during Time 2. advocacy groups controlled communication, ranking it first. in the presidential controlled communication pieces. Th controlled communication. The third sub question, 1C, a sked if there was a positive relationship between the The Associated Press Out of the seven possible comparisons in Time 1, only two out of the seven (29%) had significant correlat ions ( < .05 (one tail)). The median correlation

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107 Union Address/ Remarks by the President on the Budget and 2011 State of the Union Address. Out of the nine possible compa risons for Time 2, only four (33%) were found to have a positive correlation ( < .05 (one tail)). The median correlation coefficient was .292. Comparisons with significant correlations ( < .05 (one tail)) are President 2012 State of the Union Address. Table 4 27 includes advocacy groups and The Associated Press rankings of issue categories f communication and news stories in The Associated Press, the issue category words, there were more attributes mentioned and associated with this issue category than other issue categories. For advocacy groups, d for third for both advocacy groups and The Associated Press. This category ranked tenth However, news content from The Associated Press ranked this category second, with 123 attributes being mentioned. The fourth sub question, 1D, inquired if there was a positive relationship between the salience of advocacy groups and The Chronicle of Higher Education Two out of seven (29%) resulted in significant correlations ( < .05 (one tail)). The median

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108 Inauguration Address/ARA Bill and the 2012 Investment Rate Transportation Bill. For Time 2, four out of the nine comparisons, or 33% of the co mparisons, attained significance ( < .05 (one tail)). The median correlation coefficient was .421. The three Education Reconciliation Act, the 2011 Remarks by the Presiden t on College Affordability, and the 2012 State of the Union address. Table 4 46 attribute mentions In The Chronicle of Higher Education attribute mentions. were not me ntioned. It is important to note the Big Six advocacy groups did not have controlled communication in five out of the 12 comparisons in Time 1. These speeches or policies for which the Big Six advocacy groups did not provide any press releases are the 200 9 Remarks by the President on Higher Education, 2009 Student Aid and Fiscal Responsibilities Act, 2010 Remarks by the President on Higher Education and Economy at the University of Texas at Austin, the 2011 Remarks by the President on College Affordability the Big Six did not produce any controlled communication in three of the 12 speeches or

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109 policies analyzed in this study. They are the 2009 Presidential Remarks on Higher Education, the 2010 Remarks by the President on Higher Education and Economy at the University of Texas at Austin, and the 2010 Investment Rate Transportation Bill. Presidential Controlled Communication Sub question 1E asked if there was a positive relationship between the salience of federal student financial aid in the presidential controlled messages and newspaper coverage. This question was supported in four out of the 12 (33%) possible comparisons during Time 1 ( < .05 (one tail)). The median correlation coefficient was HCRA Bill, and his 2012 State of the Union Address, and the 2012 Remarks by the President on College Affordabil ity. For Time 2, out of the 12 possible comparisons, four (33%) were found to be statistically significant ( < .05 (one tail)). The median correlation coefficient was .5775. The comparisons with significant correlations ( < .05 (one tail)) are Presiden Student Aid and Fiscal Responsibilities Act, and the 2010 Remarks by the President on Higher Education and Economy at the University of Texas at Austin. Table 4 29 includes ranked data for President Address during Time 2. For presidential controlled communication, the issue category, 58 attribute mentions.

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110 Sub question 1F exp lored the relationship between presidential controlled communications and The Associated Press Out of 12 possible comparisons, only four (33%) were found to have a positive relationship ( < .05 (one tail)) during Time 1. The 2010 State of the Union Address/Remarks by the President on the Budget, President by the President on College Affordability, and 2012 Investment Rate Transportation Bill. For Time 2, out of the 12 possible comparisons, four were found to have a positive relationship ( < .05 (one tail)). The median correlation coefficient was .6125. T hese comparisons are President 2010 Health Care and Reconciliation Act, the 2010 Remarks by the President on Higher Education and Economy at the University of Texas at Aust 2011 State of the Union Address. Table 4 30 includes ranked data for The Investment Rate Transportation Bill during Time 2 for The Associated Press and presidential controlled communication. Both The Associated Press and president ial controlled communication ranked the issue category For The Associated Press, the issue category was ranked second. In other words, news stories located from The Associated Press focused on words such as consoli date, consolidation, creditors, default, deficit reduction measures, double interest rates, doubling interest rates, etc. However, in the attributes investment, importan t, good, success, commitment, luxury, economic imperative, high priority, priorities, and prioritize is ranked second. All articles and

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111 controlled communication for both The Associated Press and the U.S. president did not mention any attributes in both the Sub question 1G asked if there was a positive relationship between presidential controlled communication and The Chronicle of Higher Education. Five out of the 12 possible compari sons for Time 1 found a positive relationship ( < .05 (one tail)). The 2009 Inauguration Address/ARA Act, his 2009 Remarks by the President on Higher Education, the 2009 Stu dent Aid and Fiscal Responsibilities Act, the 2010 Health Care and Education Reconciliation Act, and his 2012 Remarks by the President on College Affordability. During Time 2, 25 %, or three out of the 12 possible correlations, were found to be significant ( < .05 (one tail)). The median correlation coefficient was .618. 2009 Student Aid and Financial Reform Act, and the 2010 Remarks by the President on Higher Education and Econo my at the University of Texas at Austin. Table 4 31 includes ranked data for the 2009 Remarks by the President on Higher Education during Time 1 for presidential controlled communication and The Chronicle of Higher Education For presidential controlled communication, the issue category ranked the Chronicle of Higher Education, mentions in the presidential controlled communication. However, attributes which made

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112 The Chronicle of Higher Education ranked fifth with a frequency of 40. Media Coverage Newspap er Coverage For sub question 1H, which investigated the relationship between the newspaper and The Associated Press, there were no statistically significant correlations ( < .05 (one tail)) during Time 1. The median correlation coefficient was .7245. During Time 2, only two out of the 12 possible comparisons were significant ( < .05 (one tail)). The median correlation coefficient was .782. The comparisons are the 2009 S tudent Aid and Fiscal Responsibility Act and the 2010 Health Care and Education Reconciliation Act. Table 4 33 includes the rankings of issue categories of newspaper coverage and The Associated Press for the Health Care and Education Reconciliation Act d uring Time 2. Both newspaper coverage and The Associated Press had more attribute mentions In The Associated Press ranked seventh in The Associated Press Only three attributes that make up the sue category were found in the newspaper coverage. On the other hand, only one attribute is found in The Associated Press data set. In both newspapers and The A ssociated P ress th Sub question 1I asked if there was a relationship betw een newspaper coverage and the salience of federal student financial aid issues found in The Chronicle of Higher Education For Time 1, this research sub question was supported in three out of the 12

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113 possible comparisons, (25%) ( < .05 (one tail)). The m edian correlation coefficient was .0579. These comparisons are the 2010 Health Care and Education Reconciliation Act, the 2010 Remarks by the President on Higher Education and Economy at the University of Texas at Austin, and the 2012 Investment Rate Trans portation Bill. For Time 2, this research sub question was supported in 17% or two out of the 12 possible comparisons ( < .05 (one tail)). The median correlation coefficient was .5125. These comparisons 2010 State of the Union/Remarks on the Budget addresses. Table 4 34 includes the ranking s of the newspaper coverage and The Chronicle of Higher Education for 2010 Remarks by the President on Higher Education and Economy at the University of Texas at Austin during Time 1. For the newspapers, re more attribute mentions that make The Chronicle of Higher Education, the issue category was ranked third. The Associated Press Finally, sub question 1J asked if there is a positive relationship between The Associated Press and The Chronicle of Higher Education. Out of the 12 possible comparisons for Time 1, two (17%) were found to have positive correlation ( < .05 (one tail)). The median correlation coefficient was .6085.These comparisons are President Education Reconciliation Act For Time 2, out of the 12 possible comparisons, there w ere no

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114 positive correlations ( < .05 (one tail)). However, for all median correlation coefficients, the median was .631. Table 4 35 includes the rankings for each of the issue categories during Time 2 for the 2010 Health Care and Education Reconciliation is ranked first in both The A ssociated P ress and The Chronicle of Higher Education For The A ssociated P ress ranked third. For The Chronicle of Higher Educati on The A ssociated P ress and The Chronicle of Higher Education, Tones Used in Discussing Federal Student Financial Aid Valences of tones (p master variables: C e rtainty, Optimism, A ctivity, Realism, and C ommonality. Table 3 2 lists definitions and formulas of these tones. These tones were determined for each of information subsidie s (presidential news releases and speeches and produced produced federal student financial aid news stories, and produced Associated Press news stories for both time periods (Tim e 1 is four weeks prior to the speech or policy and Time 2 is four weeks after the speech or policy). For each of the information subsidies and produced news stories, valence of tone was determined by first erived from Diction 6.0 output to Z scores or a standard score, which indicated how many standard deviations an observation is abov e or below the mean (Cohen, 2008 square tests for square compares the observed and expected frequencies in each category to test the degree to which the categories

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115 contain the same proportion of values Moreover, to determine if the tone is positive, negative, or neutral, the range of each tone was divided by t hree. The units that were equal or above the highest positive cut off were considered positive. Positive units are considered to have the most attributes that make up each of the five tones. The units that were equal or below the lowest cut off were consid ered negative Negative units are considered to have the least attributes that make up each of the five tones. The units in the middle were considered neutral. Table 4 38 includes the descriptive statistics for the tones in Time 1. Table 4 39 includes the descriptive statistics for the tones in Time 2. Table 4 40 includes the descriptive s tatistics for the master tones in Time 1. Table 4 41 includes the descriptive statistics for the master tones in Time 2. Valence of Tone: Time Period 1 Activity A Chi squ are test investigated the valence of Activity tone for each of the information subsidies and produced news stories. indicating resoluteness, inflexibility, and completeness and a tendency to speak ex 0, p. 4). For presidential controlled communication, zero out of the 35 (0%) presidential speeches and press releases were coded as negative. Ninety one percent (32 out of the 35) presidential speeches and press releases were coded as neutral. Eight and a half percent (three out of the 35) presidential speeches and press releases were coded as positive. For the higher education advocacy groups, 2% (one out of the 44) of their press releases were coded as negative. Seventy three percent (32 out of the 44) hi Twenty releases were coded as positive. For the newspaper articles, zero of the 202 (0%)

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116 newspaper articles were c oded as negative, 61% (123 out of the 202) articles were coded as neutral, 5% (11 out of the 202) newspaper articles were coded as positive. For The Associated Press news articles, one out of the 226 (.4%) news articles was coded as negative. Fifty four pe rcent (123 out of the 226) of The Associated Press news articles were coded as neutral and 39%, or 79 out of the 202 The Associated Press news articles, were coded as positive. Finally, for the trade publication, 1%, or one out of 98 articles, was coded as negative. Eighty four percent (82 out of the 98) trade publication articles were coded as neutral and 15%, or 15 out of the 98 trade publication articles, were coded as positive. The significance level of Activity tone of coverage was .000 (n=605, df=8). The results are significant ( < .05 ). Optimism A Chi square test investigated the valence of Optimism tone for each of the endorsing some person, group, concept or event or highlighting their positiv e zero out of the 35 (0%) presidential press releases and speeches were coded as negative. Forty nine percent (17 out of 35) presidential speeches were coded as neutral Fifty one percent (18 out of 35) presidential press releases and speeches were coded as positive. For the higher education advocacy groups, zero out of 44 press releases was coded negative. Fifty seven percent or 25 out of the 44 press releases were code d as neutral. Forty three percent or 19 out of the 44 higher education articles, 4%, or nine out of the 202 were coded as negative. Ninety six percent, or 193 out of the 202 newspa per articles, were coded as neutral, and less than 1%, or one out

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117 of 202 newspaper articles, were coded as positive. For The A ssociated Press news articles, 5%, or 11 out of 226, were coded as negative. Eight five percent, or 193 out of the 226, were coded as neutral and 10%, or 22 out of the 226, were coded as positive. Finally, for the trade publication, 2%, or two out of 98 articles, were coded as negative, 93%, or 91 out of the 98, were coded as neutral, and 5%, or 5 out of the 98, were coded as positiv e. The significance level of Optimism tone of coverage was .000 (n=605, df=8). The results are significant ( < .05). Realism was determined for each of the information subsidies and produced news stories. For presidential controlled communication (presidential press releases and speeches), a total of 3%, or one out of the 35 was coded as negative. Fifty seven percent, or 20 out of the 35 of the presidential press releases and speeches, were coded as neutral. F our percent, or, 14 out of the 35 were coded presidential press releases and speeches were coded as positive. For higher education advocacy groups, 23%, or 10 out of the 44 of press releases, were coded as negative. Seventy three percent, or 32 out of the 44 two out of the 44 press releases, were coded as positive. For newspaper articles, 7%, or 15 out of the 201 articles, were coded as negative. Eighty six percent, or 172 o ut of the 201 newspaper articles, were coded as neutral, and 7%, or 15 out of the 201 newspaper articles, were coded as positive. In regards to The Associated Press articles, 8%, or 17 out of the 226 The Associated Press news articles, were coded as negati ve. Eighty percent, or 180 out of the 226 The Associated Press news articles, were coded

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118 as neutral, while 13%, or 29 out of the 226 The Associated Press articles, were coded as positive. Finally, for the trade publication, 7%, or seven out of the 98 artic les, were coded as negative. Ninety two percent or 90 out of the 98 articles were coded as neutral. Only one percent, or one out of the 98 articles, was coded as positive. The significance level of Optimism tone of coverage was .000 (n=605, df=8). The resu lts are significant ( < .05). Commonality A Chi square test was used to determine the valence of Commonality. upon values of a group 2010, p.5). For presidential controlled communication, zero out of the 35 (0%) press releases and speeches was coded as negative. Ninety one percent (32 out of the 35) of the press releases and speeches were coded as neutral and 9% (three out of the 35) pr esidential press or one out of the 44 press releases, were coded as negative. Eighty four percent (37 out of the 44) of the press releases were coded as neutral and 14% (si x out of the 44) of the press releases were coded as positive. In regards to the newspaper coverage, 8%, or 17 out of the 202 newspaper stories, were coded as negative. Sixty one percent (124 out of the 202) newspaper stories were coded as neutral and 5% ( 11 out of the 202) of the newspaper stories were coded as positive. For The Associated Press news articles, 5% (13 out of the 266) of The Associated Press news stories were coded as negative. Seventy two percent (192 out of the 266) of The Associated Press news stories were coded as neutral and 8% (21 of the 266) of The Associated Press news stories were coded as positive. Lastly, 3%, or two out of the 98 trade publication articles were coded

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119 as negative, 96%, or 94 out of the 98 trade publication articles were coded as neutral, and 1%, or two out of the 98 trade publication articles, was coded as positive. The significance level of Commonality tone of coverage was .023 (n=605, df=8). The results are significant ( < .05). Certainty Valence for the fifth tone, Certainty, was determined for each of the controlled communications and produced news stories. Diction (2010) defines certainty as endency to (0%) presidential press releases and speeches were coded as negative. Seventeen percent, or six out of the 35 presidential press releases and speeches, were code d as neutral and 83%, or 29 out of the 35 presidential press releases, were coded as the 44 (0%) press releases was coded as negative. Twenty seven percent (12 out of the 44) press releases were coded as neutral. Seventy three percent (32 out of the 44) press releases were coded as positive. For newspaper articles, less than 1% (two out of the 202) was coded as negative. Fifty percent (101 out of the 202) newspaper article s were coded as neutral. Forty nine percent (99 out of the 202) newspaper articles were coded as positive. For The Associated Press articles, 6% or 13 out of 226 articles were coded as negative. Fifty percent (113 out of the 226) Associated P ress articles were coded as neutral. Forty four percent (100 out of the 226) The Associated Press articles were coded as positive. Finally, for trade publication news articles, zero out of the 98 (0%) were coded as negative. Thirty six percent (35 out of the 98) trade p ublication articles were coded as neutral. Sixty four percent (63 out of the 98) trade publication

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120 articles were coded as positive. The significance level of Certainty tone of coverage was .000 (n=605, df=8). The results are significant ( < .05). Valence of Tone: Time Period 2 Activity The first tone, Activity, was determined for each of the information subsidies and produced news stories. For presidential controlled communication, thirty five of the 35, or 100% of the presidential spe eches and press releases, were coded as negative, 0% of the presidential controlled communication was coded as neutral, and 0% of the presidential controlled communication was coded as positive. For the Higher Education advocacy groups, 36 of the 36, or 10 0% of their press releases, were coded as negative, 0% of the Higher Education advocacy groups controlled communication was coded as neutral, and 0% of the Higher Education advocacy groups controlled communication was coded as positive. For the newspaper a rticles, 82%, or 225 out of the 275 newspaper articles, were coded as negative, 18%, or 49 out of the 275 articles, were coded as neutral, and less than 1% (one out of the 275) newspaper articles was coded as positive. In regards to The Associated Press ar ticles, 72% (79 out of the 109) of the articles were coded as negative. Twenty seven percent (29 out of the 109) were coded as neutral and less than 1%, or one out of the 109 The Associated Press articles, was coded as positive. Finally, for the trade publ ication, 90%, or 72 out of the 80 articles, were coded as negative. Ten percent (eight out of the 80 articles) were coded as neutral and 0 were coded as positive. The significance level of Activity tone of coverage was .001 (n=535, df=8). The results are s ignificant ( < .05).

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121 Optimism A Chi square test investigated the valence of Optimism tone for each of the information subsidies and produced news stories. Eleven percent (four out of the 35) presidential press releases and speeches were coded as negative. Eighty n ine percent (31 out of the 35) presidential speeches were coded as neutral. There were no presidential press releases and speeches that were coded as positive. For the higher education advocacy groups, 11% (four of the 36) press releases were coded as nega tive. Eighty nine percent (32 of the 36) press releases were coded as neutral. positive. For the newspaper coverage, 41% (112 out of the 275) newspaper articles were coded as negative. Fifty nine percent (161 out of the 275) newspaper articles were coded as neutral and less than 1% (two out of the 275) newspaper articles were coded as positive. For The Associated Press articles, thirty five percent (38 out of the 109) were cod ed as negative. Sixty five percent or 71 out of the 109 articles were coded as neutral and 0% was coded as positive. Finally, for the trade publication, 32.5% (26 out of the 80 articles) were coded as negative, 67.5% (54 of the 80 articles) were coded as n eutral, and 0 were coded as posit ive. The significance level of O ptimism tone of coverage was .002 (n=535, df=8). The results are significant ( < .05). Realism The third tone, Realism, was determined for each of the information subsidies and produced news stories. For presidential press releases and speeches, a total of 35 out of 35 (100%) were coded as negative, 0% were coded as neutral and 0% as were coded as positive. For higher education advocacy groups, 36 out of 36 (100%) of press releases were c oded as negative, 0% were coded as neutral, and 0% was coded as

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122 positive. For newspaper articles, 99.6% (274 out of the 275 articles) were coded as negative. Zero newspaper articles were coded as neutral and .4% (one article) was coded as positive. For A ss ociated P ress articles, 96%, or 105 of the 109 articles, were coded as negative. Three percent, or three out of the 109 A ssociated P ress articles, were coded as neutral, while only 1% (one A ssociated P ress article) was coded as positive. Finally, for the t rade publication, 80 out of 80, or 100% of the articles, were coded as negative, 0% was coded as neutral, and 0% was coded as positive. The significance level of Realism tone of coverage was .103 (n=535, df=8). The results are not significant ( > .05). Commonality A Chi square test was used to determine the valence of Commonality. For presidential press releases and speeches, eight out of the 35 (23%) were coded as negative. Seventy seven percent, or 27 of the 35, were coded as neutral and z ero releases, 39% (14 out of the 36) were coded as negative. Sixty one percent (22 out of the 36) press releases were coded as neutral and 0% was coded as positive. For newspape r stories, 53% (147 out of the 275 newspaper stories) were coded as negative, 46% (127 of the 275 newspaper stories) were coded as neutral and less than 1% (one newspaper story) was coded as positive. For The Associated Press stories, 30%, or 33 out of the 109, were coded as negative, 64%, or 70 out of the 109 The Associated Press stories, were coded as neutral and 6%, or six out of the 109 The Associated Press stories, were coded as positive. Lastly, for trade publications, 24%, or 19 out of the 80, were c oded as neutral, 75%, or 60 out of the 80 trade publication articles, were coded as positive, and 1%, or one out of the 80 trade publication articles,

PAGE 123

123 was coded as positive. The significance level of Commonality tone of coverage was .000 (n=535, df=8). The results are significant ( < .05). Certainty Valence for the fifth tone, Certainty, was determined for each of the information subsidies and produced news stories. Thirty five out of the 35 (100%) presidential press releases and speeches were coded as negative. Zero presidential press releases and controlled communication, 36, or 100%, were coded negative. There were no advocacy re coded as neutral or as positive. For newspaper articles, 99% (274 out of the 275) were coded as negative. One percent (one out of the 275 articles) was coded as positive. Zero newspaper articles were coded as neutral. For A ssociated P ress articles, 99%, or 108 out of the 109 articles, were coded as negative One percent, or one A ssociated P ress article, was coded as positive. Zero A ssociated P ress articles were coded as neutral. Finally, for trade publication articles, 80 out of the 80 (100%) were coded as negative, zero were coded as neutral and zero were coded as positive. The significance level of Certainty tone of coverage was .839 (n=535, df=4). The results are insignificant ( > .05). Chapter Summary This chapter presented findings that focused on the relationship of the dependent variables and selected independent variables. More specifically, findings from ranking the independent variables or issue categories and presenti ng statistically significant order Correlations were mentioned. Additionally, valence of tone was discussed for each of the two time lags. Together these results were used to address the overarching research question guiding this study. Ove rall, there was some support

PAGE 124

124 suggesting there is a positive relationship between higher education advocacy groups, controlled presidential communication, the newspapers used in this study, The Associated Press and The Chronicle of Higher Education when fo cusing on federal financial student aid issues. Additionally, the valence of each of the five tones used for discussing federal financial aid was presented. More specifically, valence used for each of the five tones activity, o ptimism, realism, commonalit y, and certainty were stated for both time lags. Overall, for both time lags, the results indicated that most of the source controlled information subsidies and the news media subsidies were presented in either negative or neutral tones.

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125 Table 4 1. Indi vidual level correlations for 2009 Inauguration Address/ARA Bill Time 1 Variable 1 2 3 4 5 1. Presidential 1.000 2.Newspapers .520* 1.00 3.Advocacy Groups .260 .587* 1.00 4.The Associated Press .385 .736** .335 1.00 5. The Chronicle of Higher Education .589* .729** .608* .667* 1.00 Notes: p <.05, **p < .01, ***p < .001. All one tailed tests. n/a = Data was either unavailable or did not provide sufficient variance for statistical analysis

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126 Table 4 2. I ndividual level correlations for 2009 Remarks by the President on Higher Education Time 1 Variable 1 2 3 4 5 1. Presidential 1.000 2.Newspapers .847** 1.00 3.Advocacy Groups n/a n/a n/a 4.The Associated Press .777** .683** .n/a 1.00 5. The Ch ronicle of Higher Education .587* .695** n/a .695** 1.00 Notes: p <.05, **p < .01, ***p < .001. All one tailed tests. n/a = Data was either unavailable or did not provide sufficient variance for statistical analysis

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127 Table 4 3. Individua l level correlations for 2009 Graduation Initiative Time 1 Variable 1 2 3 4 5 1. Presidential 1.000 2.Newspapers .719** 1.00 3.Advocacy Groups .033 .000 1.00 4.The Associated Press .809** .801** .065 1.00 5. The Chronicle of Higher Educatio n .743** .649** .083 .903** 1.00 Notes: p <.05, **p < .01, ***p < .001. All one tailed tests. n/a = Data was either unavailable or did not provide sufficient variance for statistical analysis

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128 Table 4 4. Individual level correlations fo r 2009 Student Aid Financial Responsibility Act (SAFRA) Time 1 Variable 1 2 3 4 5 1. Presidential 1.000 2.Newspapers .739** 1.00 3.Advocacy Groups n/a n/a n/a 4.The Associated Press .456 .358 n/a 1.00 5. The Chronicle of Higher Education .458 .546** n/a .457 1.00 Notes: p <.05, **p < .01, ***p < .001. All one tailed tests. n/a = Data was either unavailable or did not provide sufficient variance for statistical analysis

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129 Table 4 5. Individual level correlations for 2009 Inau guration Address/ARA Bills Time 2 Variable 1 2 3 4 5 1. Presidential 1.000 2.Newspapers .466* 1.00 3.Advocacy Groups .464* .359 1.00 4.The Associated Press .635** .688** .264* 1.00** 5. The Chronicle of Higher Education .508* .771** .315 .670 ** 1.00** Notes: p <.05, **p < .01, ***p < .001. All one tailed tests. n/a = Data was either unavailable or did not provide sufficient variance for statistical analysis

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130 Table 4 6. Individual level correlations for 2009 Remarks by the Pr esident on Higher Education Time 2 Variable 1 2 3 4 5 1. Presidential 1.000 2. Newspapers .828** 1.00 3. Advocacy Groups n/a n/a n/a 4.The Associated Press .916** .841** n/a 1.00** 5.The Chronicle of Higher Education .623** .534* n/a .575** 1.00* Notes: p <.05, **p < .01, ***p < .001. All one tailed tests. n/a = Data was either unavailable or did not provide sufficient variance for statistical analysis

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131 Table 4 7. Individual level correlations for 2009 Graduation Initiative Time 2 Variable 1 2 3 4 5 1. Presidential 1.000 2. Newspapers .421 1.00 3. Advocacy Groups .345 .547* 1.00 4.The Associated Press .293 .783** .607* 1.00 5.The Chronicle of Higher Education .292 .285 .272* .250** 1.00 Notes: p <.05, **p < .01, ***p < .001. All one tailed tests. n/a = Data was either unavailable or did not provide sufficient variance for statistical analysis

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132 Table 4 8. Individual level correlations for 2009 Student Aid Financial Responsibility Act (SAFRA) Time 2 Variable 1 2 3 4 5 1. Presidential 1.000 2. Newspapers .569* 1.00 3. Advocacy Groups .537* .315 1.00 4.The Associated Press .325 .360* .405* 1.00 5.The Chronicle of Higher Education .451* .908** .421 .342 1.00** Notes: p <.05, **p < .01, ***p < .001. All one tailed tests. n/a = Data was either unavailable or did not provide sufficient variance for statistical analysis

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133 Table 4 9. Individual ks by the President on the Budget Time 1 Variable 1 2 3 4 5 1. Presidential 1.000 2. Newspapers .151 1.00 3. Advocacy Groups .521* .261 1.00 4.The Associated Press .541* .687** .379* 1.00* 5.The Chronicle of Higher Education .735** .425 .326 .556** 1.00 Notes: p <.05, **p < .01, ***p < .001. All one tailed tests. n/a = Data was either unavailable or did not provide sufficient variance for statistical analysis

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134 Table 4 10. Individual level correlations for the 2010 Health Car e and Education Reconciliation Act Time 1 Variable 1 2 3 4 5 1. Presidential 1.000 2. Newspapers .494* 1.00 3. Advocacy Groups .377 .346 1.00 4.The Associated Press .440 .938** .290 1.00 5.The Chronicle of Higher Education .495* .502* .157 557* 1.00* Notes: p <.05, ** < .01, ***p < .001. All one tailed tests. n/a = Data was either unavailable or did not provide sufficient variance for statistical analysis

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135 Table 4 11. Individual level correlations for 2010 Remarks by the P resident on Higher Education and Economy at the University of Texas at Austin Time 1 Variable 1 2 3 4 5 1. Presidential 1.000 2. Newspapers .634** 1.00 3. Advocacy Groups n/a n/a n/a 4.The Associated Press .415 .793** n/a 1.00 5.The Chronicl e of Higher Education .919** .462* n/a .190** 1.00* Notes: p <.05, **p < .01, ***p < .001. All one tailed tests. n/a = Data was either unavailable or did not provide sufficient variance for statistical analysis

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136 Table 4 12. Individual lev President on the Budget Time 2 Variable 1 2 3 4 5 1. Presidential 1.000 2. Newspapers .232 1.00 3. Advocacy Groups .800** .337 1.00 4.The Associated Press .54 5* .454 .292** 1.00* 5.The Chronicle of Higher Education .790** .491* .805** .592** 1.00* Notes: p <.05, **p < .01, ***p < .001. All one tailed tests. n/a = Data was either unavailable or did not provide sufficient variance for statistical analysis

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137 Table 4 13. Individual level correlations for Individual level descriptive statistics and correlations for the 2010 Health Care and Education Reconciliation Act Time 2 Variable 1 2 3 4 5 1. Presidential 1.000 2. Newspapers .029 1.00 3. Advocacy Groups .207 .104 1.00 4.The Associated Press .590* .510* .028 1.00* 5.The Chronicle of Higher Education .613** .354 .502* .719** 1.00 Notes: p <.05, **p < .01, ***p < .001. All one tailed tests. n/a = Data was either unavailable or did not provide sufficient variance for statistical analysis

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1 38 Table 4 14 Individual level correlations for 2010 Remarks by the President on Higher Education and Economy at the University of Texas at Austin Time 2 Variable 1 2 3 4 5 1. Presiden tial 1.000 2. Newspapers .586* 1.00 3. Advocacy Groups n/a n/a n/a 4.The Associated Press .566* .781** n/a 1.00* 5.The Chronicle of Higher Education .440* .460 n/a .286** 1.00 Notes: p <.05, **p < .01, ***p < .001. All one tailed tests. n/ a = Data was either unavailable or did not provide sufficient variance for statistical analysis

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139 Table 4 15. Individual Variable 1 2 3 4 5 1. Presidential 1.000 2. Newspapers .766** 1.00 3. Advocacy Groups .585* .375 1.00 4.The Associated Press .940** .713** .533* 1.00** 5.The Chronicle of Higher Education .802** .624** .671** .807** 1.00** Notes: p <.05, **p < .01, ***p < .001. All one tailed te sts. n/a = Data was either unavailable or did not provide sufficient variance for statistical analysis

PAGE 140

140 Table 4 16. Individual level correlations for 2011 Remarks by the President on College Affordability Time 1 Variable 1 2 3 4 5 1. Pres idential 1.000 2. Newspapers .668** 1.00 3. Advocacy Groups n/a n/a n/a 4.The Associated Press .738** .919** n/a 1.00** 5.The Chronicle of Higher Education .550** .903** n/a .737** 1.00** Notes: p <.05, **p < .01, ***p < .001. All one tail ed tests. n/a = Data was either unavailable or did not provide sufficient variance for statistical analysis

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141 Table 4 17. Individual Variable 1 2 3 4 5 1. Pres idential 1.000 2. Newspapers .643** 1.00 3. Advocacy Groups .285 .170 1.00 4.The Associated Press .559* .829** .057 1.00* 5.The Chronicle of Higher Education .758** .837** .093 .846** 1.00** Notes: p <.05, **p < .01, ***p < .001. All one tailed tests. n/a = Data was either unavailable or did not provide sufficient variance for statistical analysis

PAGE 142

142 Table 4 18. Individual level correlations for 2011 Remarks by the President on College Affordability Time 2 Variable 1 2 3 4 5 1. Presidential 1.00 2. Newspapers .900** 1.00 3. Advocacy Groups .220 .155 1.00 4.The Associated Press .815** .904** .336 1.00** 5.The Chronicle of Higher Education .310** .202 .588* .151** 1.00 Notes: p <.05, **p < .01, ***p < .001. A ll one tailed tests. n/a = Data was either unavailable or did not provide sufficient variance for statistical analysis

PAGE 143

143 Table 4 19. Individual level correlations for Individual level descriptive statistics and correlations for 2012 State of the Union Address Time 1 Variable 1 2 3 4 5 1. Presidential 1.00 2. Newspapers .603* 1.00 3. Advocacy Groups n/a n/a n/a 4.The Associated Press .535* .623** n/a 1.00* 5.The Chronicle of Higher Education .700** .412 n/a .052** 1.00 Notes: p <.05, **p < .01, ***p < .001. All one tailed tests. n/a = Data was either unavailable or did not provide sufficient variance for statistical analysis

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144 Table 4 20. Individual level correlations for 2012 Remarks by the President on College Affordability Time 1 Variable 1 2 3 4 5 1. Presidential 1.00 2. Newspapers .565* 1.00 3. Advocacy Groups .246 .185 1.00 4.The Associated Press .594* .988** .207 1.00* 5.The Chronicle of Higher Education .084* .612** .630** .606** 1.00** No tes: p <.05, **p < .01, ***p < .001. All one tailed tests. n/a = Data was either unavailable or did not provide sufficient variance for statistical analysis

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145 Table 4 21. Individual level correlations for Investment Rate Transportation Bi ll Time 1 Variable 1 2 3 4 5 1. Presidential 1.00 2. Newspapers .687** 1.00 3. Advocacy Groups .487* .527* 1.00 4.The Associated Press .573* .673** .725** 1.00* 5.The Chronicle of Higher Education .489** .478* .310* .611** 1.00* Notes: p <.05, **p < .01, ***p < .001. All one tailed tests. n/a = Data was either unavailable or did not provide sufficient variance for statistical analysis

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146 Table 4 22. Individual level correlations for 2012 State of the Union Address Time 2 Vari able 1 2 3 4 5 1. Presidential 1.00 2. Newspapers .340 1.00 3. Advocacy Groups .517* .073 1.00 4.The Associated Press .859** .376 .591* 1.00** 5.The Chronicle of Higher Education .718** .462 .478* .824** 1.00 Notes: p <.05, **p < .01, *** p < .001. All one tailed tests. n/a = Data was either unavailable or did not provide sufficient variance for statistical analysis

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147 Table 4 23. Individual level correlations for 2012 Remarks by the President on College Affordability Time 2 Variable 1 2 3 4 5 1. Presidential 1.00 2. Newspapers .744** 1.00 3. Advocacy Groups .021 .107 1.00 4.The Associated Press .829** .881** .072 1.00 5.The Chronicle of Higher Education .639** .890** .286 .789** 1.00** Notes: p <.05, **p < .01, **p < .001. All one tailed tests. n/a = Data was either unavailable or did not provide sufficient variance for statistical analysis

PAGE 148

148 Table 4 24. Individual level correlations for Investment Rate Transportation Bill Time 2 Variable 1 2 3 4 5 1. Presidential 1.00 2. Newspapers .706** 1.00 3. Advocacy Groups n/a n/a n/a 4.The Associated Press .653** .920** n/a 1.00** 5.The Chronicle of Higher Education .652** .747** n/a .700** 1.00** Notes: p <.05, **p < .01, ***p < .001. All one tailed tests. n/a = Data was either unavailable or did not provide sufficient variance for statistical analysis

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149 Table 4 25. Advocacy groups and m edia r ankings of issue c Time 1 Is sue Category Advocacy Groups/Frequency Advocacy Group/Rank Newspapers /Frequency Newspapers/Rank Economy 18 2 150 2 Attendance 2 11 38 9 Work Study 10 5 97 5 Tuition Tax Credit 3 9.5 145 3 Higher Ed Association 0 13.5 0 14 Borrower 13 3 178 1 Federa l Loan Programs 9 6 35 11.5 Pell Grant 7 7 74 6.5 Financial Aid 1 12 35 11.5 Cost of College 4 8 112 4 Student Loans 20 1 36 10 Higher Education 11 4 74 6.5 Outcomes 3 9.5 67 8 FAFSA 0 13.5 2 13

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150 Table 4 26. A dvocacy g roups and p residential r ank ings of issue c Union Address during Time 2 Issue Category Advocacy Groups/Frequency Advocacy Group/Rank Presidential /Frequency Presidential /Rank Economy 35 8 4 8 Attendance 14 13 2 11.5 Work Study 54 4 7 6 Tuition Tax Credit 29 10 8 4.5 Higher Ed Association 41 7 0 13.5 Borrower 101 1 11 2 Federal Loan Programs 58 3 3 9.5 Pell Grant 49 5 6 7 Financial Aid 25 11 3 9.5 Cost of College 67 2 15 1 Student Loans 35 9 2 11.5 Higher Education 47 6 8 4.5 Outcomes 18 12 9 3 FAFSA 1 14 0 13.5

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151 Table 4 27. Advocacy g roups and The Associated Press rankings of issue c of the Union Address/Remarks on Higher Education 2010 during Time 1 Issue Category Advocacy Gro ups/Frequency Advocacy Group/Rank AP/Frequency AP/Rank Economy 12 3.5 96 3.5 Attendance 10 5 14 11 Work Study 6 7 66 9 Tuition Tax Credit 0 12.5 92 6 Higher Ed Association 0 12.5 0 14 Borrower 33 1 186 1 Federal Loan Programs 1 10 123 2 Pell Grant 7 6 81 8 Financial Aid 4 8 9 12 Cost of College 12 3.5 96 3.5 Student Loans 0 12.5 83 7 Higher Education 18 2 41 10 Outcomes 3 9 94 5 FAFSA 0 12.5 3 13

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152 Table 4 28. Advocacy g roups and The Chronicle of Higher Education rankings of issue c ategories 2009 Graduate Initiatives Speech during Time 2 Issue Category Advocacy Groups/Frequency Advocacy Group/Rank The Chronicle of Higher Education / Frequency The Chronicle of Higher Education /Rank Economy 2 12 9 7 Attendance 7 9 4 8 W ork Study 17 4 3 9 Tuition Tax Credit 3 11 22 4 Higher Ed Association 0 13.5 0 13 Borrower 46 1 42 1 Federal Loan Programs 17 5 2 10 Pell Grant 8 8 28 3 Financial Aid 20 3 1 11 Cost of College 12 7 38 2 Student Loans 16 6 0 13 Higher Education 7 1 0 12 5 Outcomes 23 2 10 6 FAFSA 0 13.5 0 13

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153 Table 4 29. Presidential and advocacy g roups rankings of i ssue c Union Speech during Time 2 Issue Category Presidential /Frequency Presidential /Rank Advocacy Groups/Frequency Advocacy Groups/Rank Economy 4 8 35 8 Attendance 2 11.5 14 13 Work Study 7 6 54 4 Tuition Tax Credit 8 4.5 29 10 Higher Ed Association 0 13.5 41 7 Borrower 11 2 101 1 Federal Loan Programs 3 9.5 58 3 Pell Grant 6 7 49 5 Financial Aid 3 9.5 25 11 Cost of College 15 1 67 2 Student Loans 2 11.5 35 9 Higher Education 8 4.5 47 6 Outcomes 9 3 18 12 FAFSA 0 13.5 1 14

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154 Table 4 30. The Associated Press and presidential r ankings of i ssue c ategories for the Investment Rate Bill dur ing Time 2 Issue Category The Associated Press /Frequency The Associated Press /Rank Presidential /Frequency Presidential /Rank Economy 10 7 26 3.5 Attendance 2 12 4 12 Work Study 13 5 10 10 Tuition Tax Credit 7 8 8 11 Higher Ed Association 0 13.5 0 13. 5 Borrower 22 1 64 1 Federal Loan Programs 16 2 26 3.5 Pell Grant 11 6 14 7 Financial Aid 4 11 16 6 Cost of College 15 3 12 8.5 Student Loans 14 4 24 5 Higher Education 6 9 27 2 Outcomes 5 10 12 8.5 FAFSA 0 13.5 0 13.5

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155 Table 4 31. The Presid ential and The Chronicle of Higher Education r Higher Education during Time 1 Issue Category Presidential / Frequency Presidential /Rank The Chronicle of Higher Education / Frequency The Chronicle of Higher Educat ion / Rank Economy 5 9.5 32 6 Attendance 5 9.5 7 13 Work Study 4 11.5 14 11 Tuition Tax Credit 10 4 24 10 Higher Ed Association 0 13.5 0 14 Borrower 46 1 102 2 Federal Loan Programs 9 5 27 8 Pell Grant 6 7.5 83 3 Financial Aid 4 11.5 13 12 Cost of College 17 2 133 1 Student Loans 13 3 29 7 Higher Education 6 7.5 25 9 Outcomes 7 6 41 4 FAFSA 0 13.5 40 5

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156 Table 4 32. Media and the p residential r ankings of the Student Aid Financial Responsibility Act during Time 2 Issue Category Newspapers /Fr equency Newspapers/Rank Newspapers /Frequency Newspapers/Rank Economy 44 6 24 2 Attendance 11 12 14 6 Work Study 43 7 4 12 Tuition Tax Credit 29 10 2 13 Higher Ed Association 0 14 0 14 Borrower 150 1 52 1 Federal Loan Programs 73 2 18 4 Pell Grant 34 9 14 7 Financial Aid 19 11 18 5 Cost of College 71 3 20 3 Student Loans 62 4 12 8 Higher Education 40 8 6 11 Outcomes 57 5 8 10 FAFSA 5 13 12 9

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157 Table 4 33. Media and the Associated Press r ankings of the Health Care and Education Reconciliati on Act during Time 2 Issue Category Newspapers /Frequency Newspapers/Rank The A ssociated Press /Frequency The A ssociated P ress /Rank Economy 39 3 20 6 Attendance 11 2 6 12 Work Study 20 8 10 10 Tuition Tax Credit 19 9 43 2 Higher Ed Association 0 14 0 1 4 Borrower 102 1 76 1 Federal Loan Programs 38 4 16 9 Pell Grant 24 6 14 7 Financial Aid 17 10 6 11 Cost of College 26 5 26 3 Student Loans 42 2 21 5 Higher Education 13 11 15 8 Outcomes 21 7 24 4 FAFSA 3 13 1 13

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158 Table 4 34. Media and The Ch ronicle of Higher Education r ankings of P President on Higher Education and Economy at the University of Texas at Austin during Time 1 Issue Category Newspapers Newspapers /Rank The Chronicle of Higher Education / Frequency The Chronicle of Higher Education /Rank Economy 85 3 10 3 Attendance 9 13 1 8 Work Study 66 4 1 8 Tuition Tax Credit 24 11 1 8 Higher Ed Association 0 14 0 12.5 Borrower 154 1 11 2 Federal Loan Programs 59 5 1 8 Pell Grant 35 8.5 1 8 Fina ncial Aid 44 7 0 12.5 Cost of College 35 8.5 12 1 Student Loans 47 6 0 12.5 Higher Education 29 10 5 4 Outcomes 109 2 4 5 FAFSA 16 12 0 12.5

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159 Table 4 35. The Associated Press and The Chronicle of Higher Education r ankings for the Health Care and E ducation Reconciliation Act during Time 2 Issue Category The Associated Press /Frequency The Associated Press /Rank The Chronicle of Higher Education /Frequency The Chronicle of Higher Education /Rank Economy 20 6 22 2 Attendance 5 12 1 13 Work Study 10 1 0 7 7 Tuition Tax Credit 43 2 6 8 Higher Ed Association 0 14 0 14 Borrower 76 1 39 1 Federal Loan Programs 12 9 4 10 Pell Grant 14 7 17 3 Financial Aid 6 11 4 9 Cost of College 26 3 11 5 Student Loans 21 5 3 11 Higher Education 13 8 10 6 Outcomes 24 4 16 4 FAFSA 1 13 2 12

PAGE 160

160 Tabl e 4 36 Descriptive statistics for i ssue in Time 1 N Mean Std. Deviation Economy 605 3.19 4.116 Attendance 605 1.07 2.763 Work Study 605 2.36 2.887 Tuition Tax Credit 605 2.74 4.877 Higher Education Institutions 60 5 .38 2.124 Borrower 605 7.80 5.949 Federal Loan Programs 605 3.57 5.726 Pell Grant 605 2.57 3.741 Financial Aid 605 1.65 3.591 Cost of College 605 3.75 4.439 Student Loans 605 3.31 5.488 Higher Education 605 1.88 2.978 Outcomes 605 2.65 3.371 FAF SA 605 .27 1.525 Tabl e 4 37 Descriptive statistics for i ssue in Time 2 N Mean Std. Deviation Economy 535 2.6434 2.61189 Attendance 535 .7779 1.21021 Work Study 535 1.8646 2.20297 Tuition Tax Credit 535 2.1749 3.41142 Higher Education Institution s 535 .409 2.2105 Borrower 535 6.6771 5.88431 Federal Loan Programs 535 3.1027 4.67234 Pell Grant 535 2.3594 2.66928 Financial Aid 535 1.2589 2.45681 Cost of College 535 3.2808 3.81525 Student Loans 535 2.7289 4.73854 Higher Education 535 1.7253 2.0 5334 Outcomes 535 2.3837 2.57875 FAFSA 535 .26 .768

PAGE 161

161 Table 4 38 Attributes that make up t one for all data in Time 1: Means of frequency counts, and means of standardized scores N Mean Std. Deviation Numerical Terms 605 22.03 20.548 Ambivalence 605 12.08 6.621 Self reference 605 1.79 3.771 Tenacity 605 20.32 8.853 Leveling Terms 605 4.74 4.220 Collectives 605 11.73 6.061 Praise 605 2.82 2.902 Satisfaction 605 2.26 3.022 Inspiration 605 5.84 5.113 Blame 605 1.53 2.405 Hardship 605 3.25 3.335 Aggression 605 4.12 3.499 Accomplishment 605 13.31 7.462 Communication 605 10.27 6.768 Cognition 605 13.06 7.538 Passivity 605 5.15 8.391 Spatial Terms 605 8.08 8.429 Familiarity 605 120.40 15.248 Temporal Terms 605 14.37 7.505 Present Concern 605 11.43 6.210 Human Interest 605 15.93 11.266 Concreteness 605 42.08 14.608 Past Concern 605 2.92 2.469 Centrality 605 3.06 2.933 Rapport 605 2.32 2.383 Cooperation 605 5.29 4.752 Diversity 605 1.58 1.878 Exclusion 605 2.35 3.503 Liberation 605 1.6 0 2.036 Denial 605 4.03 3.501 Motion 605 2.45 3.012 Insistence 605 77.36 62.753 Embellishment 605 .43 1.038 Variety 605 .91 .290 Complexity 605 5.01 .338

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162 Table 4 39 Attributes that make up t one for all data in Time 2: Means of frequency counts, and means of standardized scores N Mean Std. Deviation Numerical Terms 535 63.33 116.178 Ambivalence 535 30.03 36.529 Self reference 535 5.68 19.207 Tenacity 535 51.87 74.292 Leveling Terms 535 12.74 14.941 Collectives 535 26.25 27.259 Praise 535 7 .43 9.524 Satisfaction 535 6.11 10.886 Inspiration 535 12.93 14.586 Blame 535 3.70 5.344 Hardship 535 9.26 13.143 Aggression 535 10.68 14.477 Accomplishment 535 32.53 43.074 Communication 535 23.34 23.670 Cognition 535 28.65 30.353 Passivity 535 1 0.30 13.258 Spatial Terms 535 21.31 29.056 Familiarity 535 289.75 298.384 Temporal Terms 535 35.74 37.359 Present Concern 535 27.67 33.993 Human Interest 535 41.80 62.777 Concreteness 535 90.86 86.531 Past Concern 535 7.28 8.365 Centrality 535 8.05 8.890 Rapport 535 5.45 6.772 Cooperation 535 12.56 13.464 Diversity 535 4.36 4.589 Exclusion 535 5.73 6.321 Liberation 535 3.92 4.945 Denial 535 10.70 14.955 Motion 535 5.22 8.598 Insistence 535 2249.26 12945.864 Embellishment 535 .42 .682 Varie ty 535 .47 .204 Complexity 535 5.01 .317

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163 Table 4 40 Descriptive s tatistics for m aster v ariable s Time 1. Tone N Range Minimum Maximum Mean Std. Deviation Activity 6 05 13.44756 9.26613 4.18143 0E 7 1.00000000 Optimism 6 05 8.51970 4.68633 3.833 37 0E 7 1.00000000 Certainty 605 7.50974 5.00423 2.50551 0E 7 1.00000000 Realism 605 7.64986 3.86512 3.78475 0E 7 1.00000000 Commonality 605 9.01588 4.69625 4.31963 0E 7 1.00000000 Valid N (listwise) 605

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164 Table 4 41 Descriptive s tat istics for m aster v ariables in Time 2 Tone N Range Minimum Maximum Mean Std. Deviation Activity 535 13.76681 13.76681 13.76681 13.76681 13.76681 Optimism 535 12.36710 12.36710 12.36710 12.36710 12.36710 Certainty 535 15.81217 15.81217 15.81217 15.812 17 15.81217 Realism 535 13.04087 13.04087 13.04087 13.04087 13.04087 Commonality 535 10.02917 10.02917 10.02917 10.02917 10.02917 Valid N (listwise) 535

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165 CHAPTER 5 DISCUSSION Summary of the Study Contributions This exploratory study adds to the sparse body of literature connect ing higher education to the print media. By discussing the relationships between federal student financial aid and information subsidies and the media, this study highlights what issues were most discussed during the first three and a term in office. Moreover, this study focuses on the valence of tones used by the communications, critical newspapers in cluded in this study, The Associated Press and The Chronicle of Higher Education. As elaborated in this chapter, these findings inform the practice of higher education public relations, administration, and policy. Additionally, this study adds to the grow ing body of agenda setting and agenda building research. Past research has indicated that public relations efforts play a significant role in shaping media coverage (Cutlip, 1962; Harris, Fury, & Lock, 2006; Kaid, 1976; Kiousis, et al. 2006; Sigal, 1973; Turk & Franklin, 1987). Additionally, several studies have documented the prominence of the presidential controlled communication in the process of agenda building (Johnson, et al. 1995; Wanta, et al. 1989; Wanta, 1991; Wanta &

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166 Foote, 1994). Though thes e studies focused on various aspects of political communication, such as the State of the Union addresses, Congressional elections, and gubernatorial elections, none have explicitly focused on the intermedia agenda setting and agenda building process on hi gher education. Overall, this study contributes to the literature by identifying the positive relationships between information subsidies and the media, the ranking of federal financial student aid issue categories by the number of attribute mentions, and the valence of tones used in their discourse. These findings add to an area that has a dearth of empirical evidence. Review and Purpose of the Research Question Agenda setting theory investigates the relationship between the salience of objects on the news media and public agendas (Kiousis, et al. 2011). Agenda setting research that focuses on a two way exchange of salience on news media agendas and source controlled information subsidies is called agenda building (Berkowitz & Adams, 1990; Dearing & Rogers 1996; Turk, 1985; Turk & Franklin, 1987). The purpose of this study was to exam ine the relationship of the print media and federal student financial aid. Specifically, this study focused on the two way relationship between information subsides and the n ews media. There was one primary research question guiding this study: What is the role of the print media in federal financial student aid agenda setting and agenda Additionally, there were 11 sub questions related to t he primary research question. They are: A. Is there a positive relationship between the salience of federal student communication? B. Is there a positive relationship between the s alience of federal

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167 coverage? C. Is there a positive relationship between the salience of federal student The Ass ociated Press ? D. Is there a positive relationship between the salience of federal student financial aid in The Chronicle of Higher Education ? E. Is there a positive relationship between the salience of federal student financial aid in presidential controlled communication and newspaper coverage? F. Is there a positive relationship between the salience of federal student financial aid in presidential controlled communication and The Associated Press ? G. Is there a positive relationship between the salience of federal student financial aid in presidential controlled communication and The Chronicle of Higher Education ? H. Is there a positive relationship between newspaper coverage and The Associated Press ? I. Is th ere a positive relationship between newspaper coverage and The Chronicle of Higher Education ? J. Is there a positive relationship between The Associated Press and The Chronicle of Higher Education ? K. What are the tones used when discussing federal student financial aid? To explore these sub questions, data was collected from presidential controlled communications, three national newspapers, one newswire, and one higher educ ation trade publication. Nine speeches and four policies that focused on federal student financial aid were included. A constructed week sample was randomly selected from a four week time lag prior to a presidential speech or policy focusing on federal stu dent financial aid and from a four week time lag after a presidential speech or policy focusing

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168 on federal student financial aid. Descriptive statistics provided information describing the relationship between controlled communication subsidies and the med ia. The following section will discuss the findings in this exploratory study based on the agenda setting and agenda building theories employed throughout the study. Summary of Findings ngs will be questions will be employed. Advocacy Groups This study confirmed there is a two press releases and the media releases and presidential controlled communication Overall, issues highlighted in the controlled communication from higher education advocacy groups and the media during Time 1 were also relatively low (newspapers Mdn = .346; The Associated Press Mdn = .33 5; Chronicle of Higher Education Mdn = .326). The comparisons between advocacy <.05 (one tail)) were 2009 Inauguration Address/ARA Bill (.587) and the Investment Rate Transportation Bill ( .527) Additionally, the comparisons and The Associated Press that had a statistically positive relationship at the ( <.05 President on the Budget (.379) and the 2011 State of th e Union Address (.533) Finally, the comparisons between advocacy groups and The Chronicle of Higher Educati on that had a statically significant correlation at the ( <.05 (one tail)) were 2009 Inauguration Address/ARA Bill (.608) and the 2012 Investment Rate Transportation Bill (.310)

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169 controlled communication and those emphasized in the media for Time 2 were relatively low for newspapers ( Mdn = .17) and The Associated Press ( Mdn = .292). For the relationship between advocacy groups and newspapers, there was only one comparison that had a positive correlation at the ( <.05 (one tail)). This corr elation i s Initiative speech ( .547) Also, comparisons between advocacy groups and The Associated Press that had a positive correlation at the ( <.05 (one tail)) where Graduation Initiative Speech ( 607) t he 2009 Student Aid and Financial Recovery Act (.405) (.591). These findings suggest a weak relationship. In other words, the news media did not generally take is communication and those emphasized in The Chronicle of Higher Education had an Mdn of .421. Four comparisons attaine d significance at the ( <.05 (one tail)). They are 2009 Graduate Initiative speech (.272) the 2010 Health Care and Education Reconciliation Act (.502) the 2011 Remarks by the President on College Affordability (.588) and the 2012 State of the Union Address (.478) This finding suggests a two way relationship that is relatively moderate. According to Cutlip (1962), Kaid (1976), and Sigal (1973), public relations efforts have the potential to determine and shape what is covered by the news media Although this study did not examine if public relations efforts determined and shaped the content found in the media, findings in this study reveal that there is a two way relationship, though a rather weak one, between advocacy groups and the media. It

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170 appears that the media and the higher education groups do not focus heavily on each T he Chronicle of Higher Education Both are directly tied to higher education and are focused on issues that affect higher education; thus, a stronger relationship is expected. Additionally, issues highlighted in the controlled communication from higher ed ucation advocacy groups and those emphasized in presidential controlled communication during Time 1 ( Mdn correlation = .377). In Time 1, the comparisons that had a significant correlation at the ( <.05 (one tail)) were the 2010 State of the Union Address / Remarks by the President on the Budget (.521) the 2011 S tate of the Union Address (.585) and the Investment Rate Transportation Bill (.487). those emphasized in presidentia l controlled communication were relatively low ( Mdn = .337). Overall, these findings suggest a rather weak relationship between advocacy In Time 2, three comparisons had a sign ificant correlation at the ( <.05 (one tail)). They are the 2009 Inauguration Address/ARA Bill (.464) 2009 Student Aid and Fiscal Responsibilities Act (.537) and the 2012 State of the Union Address (.517) Past agenda building research has focused on the relationship between the media and presidential and politically oriented press releases and speeches (Kaid, 1976; Kim, et al., 2011; Kiousis, et al., 2009; Kiousis, et al., 2011; Wanta & Foote, 1994; Wanta, et. al., 1989). However, few studies have fo cused on the relationship between advocacy

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171 controlled communication. More specifi cally, there was a stronger correlation in Time 1 may have influenced the presidential inf ormation subsidies. An important finding is that there were two federal financial aid policies with no Act (SAFRA), did not include press releases during Time 1. Another po licy, the Investment Rate Transportation Bill, did not include press releases during Time 2. Additionally, there were six speeches for which the advocacy groups did not release press releases. Four speeches were in Time 1 and two speeches were in Time 2. T hey were for Time 1, the 2009 Remarks by the President on Higher Education, 2010 Remarks by the President on Higher Education and the Economy given at University of Texas at Austin, the 2011 Remarks by the President on College Affordability, and President Education and 2010 Remarks by the President on Higher Education and the Economy given at the University o f Texas at Austin. It is imperative for higher education advocacy groups to produce press releases image, product, or service to influence legislative or regularity ou tcomes or a public policy debate (Annenberg Public Policy Center, 2005; Sinclair & Irani, 2005), in this way is known as issue advocacy. It is one way an organization can lobby federal, state, and

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172 local governments. Press releases can be used as a way to i nform the public the own websites or through placement in the press. Academic research has found minimal support that the media can change policy (see Yanovitsky, 2001) but there is a potential for change in policy to occur. press releases during Time 1 (73 pr ess releases in Time 1 versus 36 press releases in Time 2). This finding suggests they are using press releases as issu e advocacy. However, higher education advocacy groups should increase the amount of press releases released during both time periods. In these press releases, they can introduce their stance on the issue(s) or topic(s) to the public. Presidential Control led Communication Additionally, this study confirmed there is a two way relationship between presidential controlled communication and the media. This study found a relatively moderate association in issue salience. The strength of association between the presidential controlled communication and the media was relatively similar for both time periods analyzed in this study (Time 1 newspaper Mdn correlation = .652, Time 2 newspaper Mdn correlation = .5775, Time 1 The A ssociated P ress Mdn correlation = .557, Time 2 The A ssociated P ress Mdn correlation = .6125, Time 1 The Chronicle of Higher Education Mdn correlation = .588, and Time 2 The Chronicle of Higher Education Mdn correlation = .618). K ey comparison s between presidential controlled communication and ne wspapers which ha ve significant correlation s at the ( <.05 (one tail)) are for Time 1 the 2012 Remarks the President on College Affordability ( .565 ) and for Time 2, (.466) However,

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173 the priorities expressed in both presidential controlled communication a nd newspapers were more closely related in Time 1 than in Time 2. Moreover, there was a stronger relationship between the presidential controlled communication and The A ssociated P ress and between the presidential controlled communication and The Chronicle of Higher Education in Time 2 Even though these findings were expected, what is noteworthy here is the relationship between the presidential controlled communication and The Chronicle of Higher Education communication, presidential controlled communication and The Chronicle of Higher Education were discussing similar issues. As stated previously, these issues can impact influence between presidential controlled communication and the media. Subsequent research should focus on the direction of influence between the presidential controlled influenc e or lack of influence on presidential controlled communications. Media The intermedia agenda setting portion of this study focused on the relationships between newspapers and The Associated Press, newspapers and The Chronicle of Higher Education, and The Associated Press and The Chronicle of Higher Education. Moreover, this study confirmed there is a two way relationship between newspapers and The Associated Press, newspapers and The Chronicle of Higher Education and The Associated Press and The Chronicl e of Higher Education This study found there was overall significance between issues highlighted in newspapers to those issues highlighted in The Associated Press and vice versa ( Mdn correlation = .7245 in Time 1 and Mdn correlation = .782 in Time 2). On e key significant

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174 comparison ( <.05 (one tail)) in Time 2 wa s the 2010 Health Care and Reconciliation Act (.590) There were no significant comparisons in Time 1. Issues found in newspapers were quite similar to those found in The A ssociate P ress Future research should look into the strength of influence The A ssociated P ress has on newspapers, as newspapers use The Associated Press news stories to cut reporting costs and to provide national stories to their readers. Unlike the strong relationship the newspapers had with The A ssociat ed P ress the relationship between the newspapers and The Chronicle of Higher Education was very weak during Time 1 ( Mdn correlation = .0579). Three comparisons were supported in Time 1 at the ( <.05 (one tail)). They were 2010 Health Care and Education Reconciliation Act (.502 ), the 2010 Remarks by the President on Higher Education and Economy at the University of Texas at Austin (.462), and the 2012 Investment Rate Transportation Bill (.478). Federal financial aid issues located in the newspapers were not necessarily those issues also located in The Chronicle of Higher Education. The Chronicle of Higher Education often discusses issues that are most imperative and timely to higher education pr actitioners. However, the newspaper coverage framed (emphasizing some attributes and de emphasizing other attributes) the issues analyzed in this study differently than The Chronicle of Higher Education did. Thus, there is a potential to impact and influen perception may not be accurate or in the best interest of higher education practitioners and lobbyists. Additionally, framing can influence policymakers, including President Obama. Additional research needs to be conducted to determine the effects of the media on the public and on policy regarding higher education and federal financial aid.

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175 Moreover research focusing on the direction of influence of the relationship between newspaper coverage and The C hronicle of Higher Education must be completed before an accurate assessment of the relationship is determined. On the other hand, there was a moderate relationship between the salience of issues in newspapers and the relationship between the salience of issues in The Chronicle of Higher Education during Time 2 ( Mdn correlation = .5125). Only two <.05 (one tail)) were supported. These comparisons were 2009 State of the Union Address/Remarks by the President on the Budget (.491). This suggests that the issues mentioned in the newspaper coverage were also the issues mentioned in The Chronicle of Higher Education and vice versa. The final relationship explored was that between The Associated Press and The Chronicle of Higher Education. For both Time 1 and Time 2, there was a relatively similar relationship to the relationship between newspapers and The A ssociated P ress In other words, issues frequently mentioned in The A ssociated P ress were somewhat similar to the issues mentioned in the Chronicle of Higher Education an d vice versa (Time 1 Mdn correlation = .6085 and Time 2 Mdn correlation = .631). Additionally, only two comparisons during Time 1 were supported ( <.05 (one tail)) They were 2009 Inauguration Address/ARA Bill (.667) and 2010 Health Care and Education Re conciliation Act (.557). There were no positive correlations ( <.05 (one tail)) found for Time 2 This is an important finding for higher education. Newspapers across the United States often use stories from The A ssociated P ress in order to lower costs. Additionally, small town newspapers, such as the Ogdensburg Journal with a daily

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176 circulation of 5,000 ( Ogdensburg Journal 2013), often rely on The A ssociated P ress for news content. There is a potential for issues important to higher education that are w ritten and framed in The Chronicle of Higher Education to appear in newspapers across the United States. Additionally, prior agenda setting research has found a perception (e.g. Dunaway, et al. 2010; Golan & Wanta, 2001; Hardy & Jamieson, 2005; Kiousis, et al., 2007; and Krosnick & Kinder, 1990); thus, there is a potential for news coverage in The Chronicle of Higher Education to impact and influence the public throughout t he United States. Future research in this area is needed. First Level Agenda Setting Perhaps more important to higher education researchers and practitioners are the rankings of issue categories used in this study. The issue categories used in this study are the economy, attendance, work study, tuition tax credit, higher education associations, borrower, federal loan program, Pell Grant, financial aid, cost of college, student loans, higher education, outcomes, and FAFSA. To determine the ranking of the is sue categories, those with the most frequency (counts of attributes) are ranked first; issue categories with the second highest frequency are ranked second, and so on. These rankings imply issue salience for each of the variables in this study. Carroll and McCombs (2003) and McCombs (2004) suggest that repeated information about the object determines how salient the object or issue is. In other first level agenda setting research, Dearing and Rogers (1996) propose a larger number of messages will result in the agenda objects helps determine how the public organize s their own agendas.

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177 Although this study did not analyze the relationship between the salience of issues and public opinion, this study did rank the issue categories for each of the speeches and policies included in this study. Prior agenda setting research suggests that those issues which have the most frequency are ranked high and can have an agenda setting effect on the public (M cCombs & Shaw, 1972; Carroll & McCombs, 2003; Wanta, Golan & Lee, 2004). four weeks prior the economy, and borrowers. These were the most salient issues for the advocacy borrower, followed by economy and tuition tax credits. Unlike the controlled communication from the advocacy groups, student loans were not an important issue. It ranked 10 th out of 14 issues analyzed in this study. However, during the four weeks after borrowers, outcomes, and financial aid. The Graduate Initiative is a speech during which President Obama announced his proposal to provide new federal support for community colleges so that the U.S. could educate people for new jobs created in the 21 st century (Background Information and F act Sheet, n.d.). Although the advocacy graduation were more salient. In 2010, the most salient issue during the Health Care and Education Reconciliation Act during Time 2 for bo th advocacy groups and The Associated Press was borrower. One aspect of the HCRA eliminated the process of the federal

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178 government allowing private banks to provide federal government insured loans. Instead, these loans are now given by the Department of Ed ucatio n. Another aspect of the HCRA wa s increasing the maximum amount of funding given to Pell Grant recipients. This is an important aspect to the HCRA, as it aids low income students in attending college. However, this issue category ranked as the sixth most salient issue in media coverage and the seventh most salient issue in The Associated Press. On the other hand, borrower continued to be a very salient issue. In August, four weeks prior to at the University of Texas at Austin, borrower was the most salient federal financial aid issue for both the media and The Chronicle of Higher Education Additionally, Obama spoke about the connection between the economy and higher education. Economy was ranked third in people I said this at the National Urban League the other week education is an White Hous e Office of the Press Secretary, 2010 ). Through viewing the rankings, both variables linked the In 2012, the two most salient issues for the 2012 State of the Union Time 2 speech were borrower and cost of colleg e. For the Investment Rate Bill in Time 2, borrower was ranked as the most salient issue for both The Associated Press and presidential controlled communication. These issues, although varied in the rankings, tell a story of what were the most salient fed and a half years in office. This study found borrower as the most salient federal student

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179 financial aid issue throughout this time period. This finding can impact both public opinio n and policy. Future research should study the relationship between borrower and Valence of Tone Ethics play an important part in mass communication. It is imperative for jour nalists to be fair, unbiased and uphold and adhere to standards of professional conduct. To be ethical, journalists are expected to present their stories in a neutral tone (Moore & Murray, 2008). However, this study found that in many cases the dominant to ne was not neutral; rather, it was either negative or positive. Valence of tone: Time p eriod 1 This study analyzed the valence of the five tones for each of the variables. For the first tone, Activity, 73% of all the data was coded as neutral and 34% of the data was coded as positive. Activity focuses on taking action, directions, and plans (Ballotti & Kaid, 2000). This finding suggests that the discourse demonstrated a balance of both positive and negative information. However, the percentage of positive valence for the Activity score is a beneficial and important finding. Roughly one third of all data in this study was positive, so the rhetoric suggests plans of making change. Perhaps the most important finding of this tone regards controlled communicati on from advocacy groups. Twenty five percent of the press releases were positive. These press releases show initiative to take action or create change in federal student financial aid policy (e.g., her education more The second tone studied, Optimism, was predominantly neutral. Words that focus on praise, satisfaction, and interpretation make up the Optimism tone. However, roughly

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180 one third of the print media in Time 1 was negative. More specifically, 36.1% of produced trade publication news stories, produced federal student financial aid newspaper stories, and produced The Associated Press news stories were negative ( The Associate d Press Pell Grants after 2011)). These findings may have an effect on the audience. The negative stories may play into how the public perceives higher education and federal student financial aid. Moreover, the negative stories may suggest that there is some dissatisfaction regarding federal student financial aid. Additionally, the predominantly neutral outcome from both the p information subsidies are neither satisfied nor unsatisfied with the state of federal student financial aid. The third tone, Realism, was predominantly neutral in tone. Realism ref ers to tangible, immediate, and practical issues (Hart & Lind, 2011 ). Moreover, realism is embraces the obligation to provide students and their families with the clear, useful i nformation they need to make the best decisions about where to enroll and what kind of financial commitment they are taking on with their important, long term investment in Office of the Press Secretary, 2012). Neutral t one

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181 demonstrated a balance of both positive and negative information. of rejecting idiosync predominantly neutral. The neutrality of the data used in this study suggests the discourse did not overwhelmingly contain words that suggest bonding or joining together or focus on exclusion or liberation (Hart & Lind, 2011). An example of positive valence for the tone Commonality is shown in one press release from an advocacy The fifth tone, Certainty, can indicate a refusal to change or compromise (Ballotti & Kaid, 2000). Additionally, this tone focuses on tenacity, leveling, collective and insistence (Hart & Lind, 2011). For most of the dependent variables, valance for this tone is predominantly positive (83% presidential controlled communication, 73% of The Chronicle of Higher Education ). This finding suggests that the rhetoric in the discourse in th ese dependent variables are of supporting federal student financial aid and suggest working together with students, potential students, and other stakeholders to ensure the continuation of federal student financial aid. An example from ACE where the rhetor ic that the department receives whatever legislative authorization it needs to move forward" (ACE, 2009). However, as expected, for The A ssociated P ress coverage tended to be more neutral (50%) than positive (44%) or negative (6%). Therefore,

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182 discourse located in The A ssociated P ress demonstrated a balance of both positive and negative information. Valence of t one: Time p eriod 2 The valence of the tone Activity is predo minantly negative. With more than 70% of all the data in this study being coded negative. This finding suggests that during Time 2, the rhetoric does not include making change or taking action on a specific financial aid policy. For the field of higher edu cation, this finding implies that the inf ormation subsidies and the print media (newspapers, The Associated Press, and The Chronicle of Higher Education ) are not discussing what can be done to change the current federal student financial aid situation. As the cost of tuition increases, so does the need for financial aid, especially for low income students (Kane, 1995). Additionally, the Great Recession hindered the ability for some families to afford college. For many other families, the Great Recession str ained the resources that were once available. participation in college activities, hindered their grades, and increased their stress levels. All of these issues have the potential to impact student persistence rates and graduation rates (Alon, 2011; Chen & DesJardins, 2008; Dickert, Conlin & Rubenstein, 2007; Dynarski, 2003; Mendoza, Mendez, & Malcom, 2009; St. Johns, Paulsen, & Carter, 2005). Moreover, a negative tone in Activity h as the potential to impact access and equity in higher education. Financial aid is an important factor in creating opportunities for those who would not be able to afford to attend (St. John, 2003; Tierney, Sallee, & Venegas, 2007; Tierney & Venegas, 2009) The second tone, Optimism, was predominantly coded as neutral in advocacy

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183 59% of all media coverage (newspapers, The A ssociated P ress and The Chronicle of Higher Educat ion) was coded negative. This finding suggests that the media were not praising issues concerning the cost of higher education and federal student financial aid. For example, USA Today ran a front page above the fold news article focusing on the student lo an debt level. The headline for an October 19, 2011, article in the USA Today said This headline related student loan debt to the straining economy. It suggested that stud ent loan debt could hinder the growth of economy, thus, it may impact higher education policy. Moreover, Wu and Coleman (2009), when researching the 2004 presidential election, found negative attributes to be more significant than their positive counterpar ts in influencing the public. If the public remembers and is influenced by negative attributes, than negative tone regarding issues such as student loan debt may federal perception may influence the attendance and persistence of college students, and time taken to earn a degree. The third tone, Realism, was predominantly negative in tone. This find ing suggests student loans is not familiar, not of human interest, or even of temporal awareness. This finding suggests federal student financial aid does not affect people This finding could suggest why student financial aid policy, specifically, SAFRA, was not predominantly the main focus of the media during the Health Care and Education Reconciliation Act. Health care affects all directly, while student federal financial aid

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184 perception of student aid. The fourth tone, Commonality, was predominantly neutral in tone. However, there is one caveat. The Chronicle of Higher Education was found to be predominantly include any positive coded press releases. controlled communication was coded negative in tone. This finding implies that advocacy groups do not agree with specific values of federal student financial aid. For example, in response to the loss of in school inter press release (AAU) included a statement that the cut of these loans would most hurt low press release did not praise or even mention the fed Pell Grant (the loss of in school subsidies on student loans was used to offset t he cost of continuing the Pell G rant program). This press release does not show commonality with the government. Instead, groups advocated f or their values and their mission to support graduate education and research. These were not the salient values of the majority of elected officials. Otherwise, another compromise to the policy would have been made. The final tone, Certainty, was coded ne gative for 100% of each of the advocacy subsidies, and The Chronicle of Higher Education. For media coverage and The Associated Press 99% of the data was coded negative. Unlike in Time 1, where the

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185 rhetoric suggested a willingness to work together, Time 2 suggests the opposite. It is unclear why there was a change in valance of Certainty tone, but this change could is a need for future research focused on the transfer of attributes and tone to public opinion. Limitations This study on student federal financial aid and the media has limitations. First, the time frame for this study ended on July 27, 2012, exactly fou r weeks after the Investment Rate Transportation Bill. This time frame does not include the time period when presidential election media coverage was at its peak. The coverage that was in various forms of media and controlled communication analyzed in this study may have included discourse which would have added new insights regarding the relationship between federal student financial aid and mass communication. one of the organ izations. Despite their best intentions, there is a potential that some press releases were overlooked. This could have skewed the results. Additionally, despite all best intentions to include all newspaper articles discussing federal student financial aid LexisNexis may not have included all the articles in the sample. According to Conway (2006), a LexisNexis search may fail to find articles that ran in print editions of the newspaper. In his study focusing on the subjective precision of computers and hum an coders in content analysis, 5.6% of the articles that ran in the print edition of the newspaper were not included in the sample. Not including these articles may affect the ranking of federal student financial aid issues. The following section will disc uss the implications of this exploratory study.

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186 Implications Mass media is at the center of circulating meanings (Louw, 2005). Thus, journalists have a powerful influence on politics. Louw (2005) suggests they have played a significant role in constructing national identity and building a liberal democracy. The mass media provides a place to gather together mass publics and provide them information coming from politicians (Louw, 2005). However, mass media can also he media can raise issues that undermine po licy planning. Second, they can also intimidate policymakers and, third, they can exaggerate issues and trivialize others (Louw, 2005). The following subsections will by p olicy, practice, and theoretical. Policy Higher education influences federal policy mostly by using lobbyists (Cook, 1998). Lobbyists often use interpersonal communication to develop relationships between policy makers and their respected organizations such as ACE, NAICU, AAU, APLU, and AASCU. (Parsons, 2004, p. 227) and often will join potential partners and allies (college presidents, college students, and ad hoc organizations such as Commi ttee for Educational Funding) to lobby for higher education (Cook, 1998; Parons, 2004). These coalitions will expand their scope, increase their influence, and develop their social network (Parsons, 2004). In addition to using interpersonal communication a s a tool to develop and implement policy, t he media also has the potential to impact federal student financial aid policy. First, policy (Linsky, 1986). Concurrently, they will use the media to promo te their policies (Kingdon, 2003 ). This study focused on issue salience and the overall tone of the information

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187 subsidies and print media analyzed in this study. It is expected that the tone of the discourse be neutral, as mass communication is expected to be fair and unbiased. However, the neutrality of the print presidential controlled communication may have impacted the urgency and importance of federal student financial aid. Additionally, negati ve media coverage and controlled communication of the presidential and advocacy groups may have impacted the perceptions of higher education and student financial aid. These perceptions, as seen with loan defaults in the late 1980s, can bring change to pol icy. Practice This study generated a number of opportunities that can impact both the practical field of mass communication and higher education. First, the media has the potential to transfer issue salience to the public. Although this study did not focu s on the transfer of issues salience to public concern, ranking the issues according to salience is beneficial to the field of higher education. Those issues that are deemed more salient receive more mentions in the media and controlled communication. Thus these issues are deemed by the media, advocacy groups, and the President of the United States to be of most importance. These issues can impact how stakeholders (students, potential students, parents, caregivers, and others who are affiliated with the in stitute of higher education) perceive higher education. Additionally, the most salient issues in the presidential discourse can suggest the issues that the P resident of the United States deems most important. Thus, these may be the issues warranting more r esearch attention. Additionally, these are the issues that may impact the practice of various programs and departments on college campuses across the U.S. For example, financial aid

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188 offices may field more questions and concerns from parents and student s a bout financial aid. Also, as the emphasis of choosing a major not based on interest, but based on job opportunities (the issue category Outcomes focuses on this phenomenon) continues to increase in the media, particular majors may see a decreased number of students (e.g., anthropology and architecture), while others will see an increase (e.g., engineering and nursing). Moreover, the emphasis of specific issues can impact colleges as a whole. For example, part of the American Graduation Initiative is providi ng appropriations to community colleges. For private colleges, this has meant fewer appropriations from both state and federal governments. This can affect private private colleges have had to increase their fundraising activities and college tuitions to offset the decrease in appropriations (personal communication, Feb 4, 2013). In addition to interpersonal communications, advocacy groups could use public relations to inf luence news coverage. As found in this study, there are relationships between presidential controlled communication and the higher education advocacy gro media. It is imperative for higher education public relations practit ioners to use public relations not only as a source for public information, but also to consider using their press releases as a form of advocating for their clients. For example, the advocacy groups in this study could have used their press releases as a way to advocate for changes in financial aid policy or to promote aspects of higher education such as access and equity in higher education. Grunig (1992) calls this form of persuasion and manipulation press agentry. One noticeable policy that did not incl

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189 focused on student loans, increasing Pell Grants, and an increase of federal government appropriations to Minority Serving Institutions (MSIs) and community colleges. The lack of p ress releases during Time 1 may have sent a message that this act was either not important enough to provide the public with information through a aid act appeared to be overshadowed by the Health Care and Education Reconciliation Act (Herszenhorn, 2010). Therefore, the use of press releases might have increased the importance of SAFRA in the media. Theoretical This study generated important contributions which adv ances the knowledge within the agenda setting and agenda building theories. First, it expands current agenda setting and agenda building research. Most agenda setting and agenda building research that analyzes education will bundle K 12 education with high er education ( eg. Sweetser, Golan, & Wanta, 2008). These studies often analyze political campaigns. Other agenda setting research has expanded the theory to include new arenas such as sports (eg. Fortunato, 2001) organized religion (Buddenbaum, 2001), and classroom settings (Rodrguez Daz, 2009). This study continues to expand current agenda setting research arenas by analyzing higher education More specifically, by analyzing federal student financial aid policy. Second, this study is one of the first t o include the analysis of both agenda setting and agenda building theories. Most agenda setting and agenda building research will use only one theory in their analysis of either issue salience or attribute salience (eg., Carroll, 2011; Carroll & McCombs, 2 003; Kiousis & McCombs, 2004) or public relations agenda building ( Kiousis, Laskin, & Kim, 2011 ; Ragas, 2012; Ragas,

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190 Kim, & Kiousis, 2011) On the other hand, this study comprises of both intermedia agenda setting and public relations agenda buildi ng in an alyzing federal student financial aid. In other words, thi s study analyzed the intermedia relationships between newspapers, The Associated Press and The Chronicle of Higher Education Additi onally, this study also analyzed relationships between advocacy g communication and the media, presidential controlled communication and the media, communication. Implications for Future Research This study provides the foundati relationshi p with public relations and print media regarding federal student financial aid. There is currently a shortage of research linking mass communications to federal student financial aid policy. While this study looks at aspects of both first level and second level agenda setting, as well as the intermedia agenda setting and agenda building functions of public relations on federal student financial aid, there are plenty of opportunities for future resea rch. First, future research is needed to better understand the linkages of mass communication to specific federal financial aid policy. Secondly, future research is needed to link the discourse found in mass communication with the future research should focus on the transfer of attributes from Linkages to Federal Policy The media has the potential to support the process of creating change in federal student financial aid policy

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191 influenced the federal government; then, the federal student loan policy was passed by legislation in the late 1980 s. Future research should focus on both first level and second level agenda building relationships among the president, media, and a specific federal financial aid policy (i.e. SAFRA) for information subsidies. Additionally, the direction of influence amon g the information subsidies and media should be conducted. Previous agenda building research has found that the president sets the media agenda (Baumgartner & Jones1993; Edwards & Wood, 1999; Peake, 2001). Determining the direction of influence will help d etermine who is setting the agenda on federal student directly; the cost of tuition, the use of appropriations, and what majors are being offered can be affected by the medi a. Linkages to Public Opinion education, specifically federal student financial aid, is paramount. Projections indicate that undergraduate enrollment in degree granting postseco ndary institutions will continue to increase, reaching 20.6 million students in 2021 (NCES, 2012). As prior agenda setting research has found, the mass media does influence what issues are focused on and how the public perceives certain issues (see Dunaway Branton, & Abrajano, 2010; Golan & Wanta, 2001; McCombs & Shaw, 1967). Using first level agenda setting or research examining the transmission of issue salience cues from media coverage of issues to public concern with the issues is paramount. Transfer of Attributes from the Media to Public Opinion Additionally, furthering the research to include second level agenda setting, in which the investigation would include analyzing the transmission of attributes from the

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192 f the attributes, adds another important dimension to higher education research. Linking what federal financial aid issues are being discussed in the media as well as how they are framed by the media may influence how the public perceives higher education and federal student financial aid. In turn, this perception can influence the type of college students cho o se to apply to (state or private college, two year or four year college). Additionally, this information may influence what majors the students cho o s e and why they attend college. Conclusions This exploratory study serve d as a foundation to the sparse body of literature that connects higher education to print media. Its purpose wa s to present a dialogue between the fields of higher education and mass c ommunication by discussing the results mentioned in the previous chapter. Moreover, it reviewed the purpose of the study, the research question and sub questions, and explained the contributions of this s limitations, an d implications for policy, practice, theoretical, and future research.

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193 APPENDIX A Code Sheet for Federal Student Financial Aid 1. __(1) B.M./ H.R. __(2) T.N. __(3) H.R. 2. Story ID: __ (1) Newspaper (2) Higher Education Advocacy Group Press Release (3) President Obama Speech (4) Presidential/White House Press Release (5) Trade Publication 3. Date: ___ ___ /___ ___ /___ ___ ___ ___ 4. Item ID: ___ ___ ___ ___ 5. Item Title: _______________________________________ 6. Item Source: ___ 1. NAIC U (National Association of Independent College and Universities) 2. AAU (Association of American Universities) 3. ACE (American Council on Education) 4. AASCU (American Association of State Colleges and Universities 5. APLU (Association of Public Land grant Univ ersities) 6. The Washington Post 7. USA Today 8. The Chronicle of Higher Education 9. New York Times 10. The Associated Press 11. President Obama Press Releases 12. President Obama Speeches 7. Section: ____ (CH1) Students (CH2) Government and Politics (CH3) Student Affairs (CH4) Finance (CH5) Money and Management (CH6) Administration (CH7) Faculty (CH8) Other __________________________.

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194 (NP1) Money (NP2) News (NP3) Life (NP4) A Section (Section A) (NP5) B Section (Section B) (NP6) Metro (NP7) Financial (NP8) Section SR (NP9) Sect ion WK (NP10) Section ST (NP11) Section ED (NP12) Other __________________________. 8. Page Number: ___ 9. Issue Categories (frequencies based on word list mentions please, see code book): 1. Economy 2. Attendance and Efficacy 3. Cost of College 4. Student Loans 5. Hi gher Education/Education 6. Student Aid/Financial Aid 7. Outcomes 10. Policy Categories (frequencies based on word list mentions please, see code book): 1. Pell G rants 2. Federal Student Loan Programs 3. Tuition Tax Credit 4. Work Study 11. Stakeholder Categories (frequenci es based on word list mentions please, see code book): 1. Higher Education Associations 2. Borrower 3. Institutes of Higher Education 12. Issue to be coded (please, see code book for coding scale):

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195 1. Economy 2. Attendance & Efficacy 3. Social Class 4. Cost of College 5. Student Loans 6. Higher Education/Education 7. Student Aid/Financial Aid 8. Pell rants 9. Federal Student Loan Programs 10. Tuition Tax Credit 11. Work Stud y Outcomes 12. Higher Education Associations 13. Borrower 14. Institutes of Higher Education 13. If any or all the above issues are present, please code the frame of each issue (please, see codebook for coding scale): 1. Access 2. Equity 3. Crisis 4. Problem/Issue Definition 5. Perception of Higher Education 6. Economic 7. Policy Discussion 14. code book for coding scale): 15. book). 16. Please code for the Dominant Tone of the story? (please, see code book):

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196 APPENDIX B Code Book for Federal Student Financial Aid 1. Code corresponds to your initials. 2. Story ID: Select and code on code sheet the numbers (1 5) listed for the story ID (Newspaper, Higher Education advocac y press releases, presidential/White H ouse press releases, trade publication. 3. Date: Record the date of the item provided on the code sheet following mm/dd/yy. Example. April 3, 2012, would be recorded 04/03/12. 4. Item ID: Each item (press release, news story, or speech) will be assigned a unique number beginning with 0001. Please place this number in the ID space provided. 5. Item Title: Record the title of the item (headline of news story, news release or speech) in the space provided. 6. Item Source: Record the originating source of the item (1) NAI CU (National Association of Independent College and Universities), (2) AAU (Association of American Universities), (3) ACE (American Council on Education), (4) AASCU (American Association of State Colleges and Universities, (5) APLU (Association of Public Land grant Universities), (6) The Washington Post; (7) USA Today (8) The Chronicle of Higher Education (9) New York Times (10) The Associated Press ; (11) President Obama Press Releases, or (12) President Obama Speeches 7. Section: If article is located fro m the Chronicle of Higher Education, record the section of the item (CH1) Students, (CH2)Government and Politics, (CH3) Student Affairs, (CH4) Finance, (CH5) Money and Management, (CH6) Administration, (CH7) Faculty, (CH8) Other and fill in the blank with section name. 8. If article is located in a newspaper source the item (NP1) Money, (NP2) News, (NP3) Life, (NP4) A Section (Section A), (NP5) B Section (Section B), (NP6) Metro, (NP7) Financial, (NP8) Section SR, (NP9) Section WK, (NP10) Section ST, (NP11) Se ction ED, (NP12) Other and fill in the blank with section name. 9. Page Number: Record the page number of the item in the space provided. 10. Issue Categories: The unit of analysis is the news story, press release, or speech. Using the word lists (below) each item will be coded for the following Federal Student Financial Aid Issues. This coding scheme is based on frequency counts of each issue mention in a unit rather than a simple binary (present/absent) coding scheme. (Note: only code the sections that relate to higher education (ex. the State of the Union speech contains many subjects, please only code the section that focuses on higher education):

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197 Economy (Recession, economic downturn, financial meltdown, economic crisis, economy concerns, job security, eco nomy, Great Depression, Great Recession, economic growth) Attendance and Efficacy (attend, attendance, access, economic hardship, equity, efficacy, persistence, under represented) Cost of College (cost of college, college cost, costs of getting a degree, c ollege price, sticker price, tuition, affordability, affordable, afford, cost, cost of books, room and board, student fees, fees, tuition and fees, tuition fees, tuition, price out, accountable, up, going up, increase, skyrocketing, down, going down, decre ase) Student Loans (student loan, student loans, loan, loans, government backed loans issued by the private sector, federally guaranteed, direct loans issued by the government, direct, directly, Student Loan Corporation, Sallie Mae, student loan system, lo wer payments, manage, non traditional loans, defaults) Higher Education/Education (investment, important, good, success, commitment, luxury, economic imperative, high priority, priorities, prioritize) Student Aid/Financial Aid (student aid, financial aid, aid, ineligible, invest, level funded, price controls, subsidy, subsidizing, budget appropriations, college appropriations, recessionary periods, reconciliation, discretionary income, tax increase, inflation rates, stiff test) Outcomes (high skilled work f orce, mounting student debt, debt, mountain of debt, $25,000 Average, credit cards, credit card debt, unemployment rate, national priority, Occupy Movement, protest, protestors, college degree, degree, under employment, under employed, welfare, future, wor k, employment, looking for work, searching, security, economic growth, bankrupt, bankruptcy, income, incomes, American issue, future, economic prosperity, hopes, dreams, college major, major in college, major, jobless) 11. Policy Categories: The unit of analys is is the news story, press release, or speech. Using the word lists (below) each item will be coded for the following Federal Student Financial Aid Policies. This coding scheme is based on frequency counts of each issue mention in a unit rather than a sim ple binary (present/absent) coding scheme. (Note: only code the sections that relate to higher education (ex. the State of the Union speech contains many subjects, please only code the section that focuses on higher education): Federal Financial Aid Appli cation ( Free Application for Federal Student Aid FAFSA, FAFSA Simplification, W 2 Forms, simple, easy, easier) Pell G rants (entitlement, increase, fewer, raise, higher level, eligible, maximum, max, minimum, bare minimum, safeguard, earn)

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198 Federal Studen t Loan Programs (consolidate, consolidation, creditors, default, deficit reduction measures, double interest rates, doubling interest rates, flexible, guaranteed repayment terms, in school interest subsidy, subsidies, repayment rate, rate cuts, up front fe es, loan repayment programs, debt relief, interest payments, cost of college loans, outrage, cap, useful cap, payments, lower monthly payments, repayment, repayments, repayment plan, student loan interest double, doubling, private lenders, pay as you earn, tax credit, over haul) Tuition Tax Credit (tuition, tuition tax credit, extend, saving, worthy measure) Work Study (Federal Work Study, work study, work/study, doubling, jobs, earn) 12. Stakeholder Categori es: The unit of analysis is the news story, press release, or speech. Using the word lists (below) each item will be coded for the following Stakeholders. This coding scheme is based on frequency counts of each issue mention in a unit rather than a simple binary (present/absent) coding scheme. (Note: only code the sections that relate to higher education (ex. the State of the Union speech contains many subjects, please only code the section that focuses on higher education): Higher Education Associations ( National Association of Independent College and Universities; Association of American Universities; American Council on Education; American Association of State Colleges and Universities; American Association of Community Colleges; Association of Public La nd grant Universities; National Association of Student Financial Aid Administrators, National Commission on Fiscal Responsibility and Reform, College Board) traditional students, traditional students working adults, recipients, young people, people, Millennial, Millennials, Generation Y, Generation Z, Generation X, immigrants, undocumented students, minority, minorities) 13. Coding scale for each of the issues: (Note: only code the sections that relate to higher education (ex. the State of the Union speech contains many subjects, please only code the section that focuses on higher education): 1. Not Present 2. Present 14. If the issue is present, please code the frame of the issue: 1. Access

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199 2. Equity 3. Crisis 4. Problem/I ssue Definition 5. Perception of Higher Education 6. Economic 7. Policy Discussion 15. 1. Positive 2. Neutral/Mixed 3. Negative 0. Issue is absent (N/A) 16. Dominant Frame: The issue most dominant in the article, press release, or speech higher education (ex. the State of the Union speech contains many subjects, please only code the section that focuses on higher education): 1. Economy 2. Attendance & Efficacy 3. Cost of College 4. Stu dent Loans 5. Higher Education/Education 6. Student Aid/Financial Aid 7. Outcomes 8. Federal Financial Aid Application 9. Pell G rants 10. Federal Student Loan Programs 11. Tuition Tax Credit 12. Work Study 13. Higher Education Associations 14. Borrower 17. Tone of the dominant frame (What is the tone of the article, press release, or speech? (Note: only code the sections that relate to higher education (ex. the State of the Union speech contains many subjects, please only code the section that focuses on higher education): 1. Positive 2. Neutra l/Mixed 3. Negative 0. Issue is absent (N/A)

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220 BIOGRAPHICAL SKETCH Nancy Benton Caroline Parish received her Certificate in drafting from SUNY Canton in 1993 and her Associate of Arts in architectural interior design in 1995. She rece ived her Bachelor of Science in speech communication from Syracuse University in 1998 and her Master of Arts in mass communication from the University of Florida in 2003. In spring of 2013, she received her Doctor of Philosophy in higher education and admi nistration, with a minor in mass communication from the University of Florida. Upon graduating from Syracuse University, Parish was employed by Cox Radio and Clear Channel Communications, where her duties included sales, public relations, and radio produc tion. Additionally, she worked in both television and radio as a broadcast coordinator and sideline reporter for the Orlando Magic and Orlando Miracle, and as an assistant television producer for various University of Florida Athletic Association sporting events. Prior to her postgraduate dissertation studies, she was the marketing and promotions director at Entercom Communications. She also was employed by CBS Radio as an account executive and the Orange County Public School System as a fourth grade teach er. Additionally, Parish taught speech communication courses at the University of Florida, Santa Fe College, and Valencia College. More recently, she was an instructor at Valdosta State University, where she taught speech communication and public speaking.