Xiaodan Hu

Associate Professor of Higher Education, Northern Illinois University
Chapter Member: Chicagoland SSN
Areas of Expertise:

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About Xiaodan

Hu's research focuses on the impact of state policies and institutional initiatives on educational equity issues in the postsecondary context. Overarching themes in Hu's writings include community colleges, state funding, and educational outcomes of historically minoritized students. Hu serves as a member-at-large on the board of directors for the Council for Studies of Community Colleges.


Do State Merit-Based Financial Aid Programs Support the American Dream?

  • Frank Joseph Fernandez
  • Xiaodan Hu

In the News

Xiaodan Hu quoted by Emma Whitford, "State Matching Fund Drives Up Private Donations, Study Shows" Inside Higher Ed, December 8, 2020.
Xiaodan Hu quoted by Madeline St. Amour, "Who's Up, Who's Down and Why" Inside Higher Ed, November 19, 2020.
Xiaodan Hu quoted by Lois Elfman, "Study Spotlights Outcomes for Community College Transfer Students" Divers Education, December 10, 2019.
Xiaodan Hu quoted by Alexander C. Kafka, "How Community Colleges Can Help Push Students ‘Through the Finish Line’" The Chronicle of Higher Education, November 16, 2018.
Xiaodan Hu quoted by Eric Stirgus, "Georgia Colleges Returning to Liberal Arts" The Atlanta Journal-Constitution, July 5, 2018.


"Disparate Impacts of Performance Funding Research Incentives on Research Expenditures and State Appropriations" (with Justin C. Ortagus and Nicholas Voorhees). American Educational Research Association 8 (2022).

Finds that, in general, performance-based funding (PBF_ research incentives had no impact on research expenditures or the total amount of state appropriations allocated to treated institutions, regardless of MSI status.

"The Influence of Affirmative Action Bans on Institutional Retention" (with Kubra Say and Jeanette Barker). Journal of College Student Retention: Research, Theory & Practice (2022).

Focuses on affirmative action bans in Oklahoma and New Hampshire, we find that the adoption of affirmative action bans is not associated with the average full-time or part-time retention rates for public colleges and universities in these two states.

"Are Donations Bigger in Texas? Analyzing the Impact of a Policy to Match Donations to Texas’ Emerging Research Universities" (with Denisa Gandara and Frank Fernandez). American Educational Research Journal 8, no. 4 (2021).

Mentions that on the Texas Research Incentive Program (TRIP), we found that TRIP is associated with increases in revenue from the state and private gifts, which suggests that policymakers can leverage public investment to incentivize private donations.

"The Nudge to Finish Up: A National Study of Community College Near-Completion Students" (with Yu Chen). Research in Higher Education 62 (2020): 651-679.

Discuses college students' course-taking patterns can predict their likelihood of being a near-completion community college student. Shows community college students who have taken and passed a large number of developmental courses are more likely to leave college without a credential.

"The Price of Mission Complexity: A National Study of the Impact of Community College Baccalaureate Adoption on Tuition and Fees" (with Justin C. Ortagus). Educational Researcher 48, no. 8 (2019).

Finds that community college baccalaureate (CCB) program adoption is associated with increases in tuition and fees at adopting public community colleges.