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But respondents who made the transition to university in 2008 were much more likely to come from the two higher quartiles of socio-economic status, suggesting that the financial implications of university study continue to have an impact on the pathways of regional deferrers two years out of school.
But a previous study (Teese et al., 2006) has noted a similar relationship between socio-economic status and outcomes to that described in the current research--a relationship that suggests that deferrers with a background of high socio-economic status are more likely than their peers with lower socio-economic status to take up their university offer one year after deferring.
But the financial and distance-related barriers so evident in the deferrers' thinking when first contacted in 2007 have not disappeared (Teese, Clarke & Polesel, 2007).
Previous research suggests that this is due to a combination of factors relating to isolation and financial hardship (DETA, 2007; Polesel & Teese 2006;Teese, Clarke & Polesel, 2007) and this study confirms that, compared with the broader population of school completers who defer, many rural deferrers come from lower socio-economic backgrounds.
Past research suggests that non-metropolitan deferrers may in fact be more likely to take up their deferred place one year on than their metropolitan peers (Teese, Clarke & Polesel, 2006), though it should be remembered that non-metropolitan students are far more likely to defer in the first place.