College Access: What helps to promote student access to college? - FAQ

College Access: What helps to promote student access to college?

Liberty for More: Finance and Educational Opportunities
Purpose: To assess whether state-specific banking reforms that reduced interest rates increased the probability that students from those states would attend college and to understand which particular segments of society were most influenced by those reforms, if at all.
Issue/Topic: Postsecondary Affordability--Tuition/Fees; Postsecondary Participation--Access/Outreach
Author(s): Rubinstein, Yona; Levine, Ross
Organization(s): National Bureau of Economic Research
Publication: National Bureau of Economic Research Working Paper
Published on: 2/19/2014
Findings/Results: Credit conditions, the ability of an individual to benefit from college, and a family's financial and educational circumstances combine to shape college decisions. Thus, the functioning of the financial system plays a powerful role in shaping the degr...

Academic Performance and College Dropout: Using Longitudinal Expectations Data to Estimate a Learning Model
Purpose: To understand the multiple factors--unrelated to financial resources--that play a prominent role in why low-income students drop out of college
Issue/Topic: Postsecondary Success--Completion; Postsecondary Success-Retention/Persistance
Author(s): Stinebrickner, Ralph; Stinebrickner, Todd
Organization(s): National Bureau of Economic Research
Publication: National Bureau of Economic Research Working Paper
Published on: 1/22/2014
  • A significant percentage of students who drop out of college do so because of factors attributed to what a student learns about her academic performance: It explains 45% of the dropout that occurs in the first year of college, 45% in the first ...

The Maine Question: How is 4-Year College Enrollment Affected by Mandatory College Entrance Exams?
Purpose: To examine Maine's 2006 adoption of the SAT as its accountability assessment to estimate the causal impact of such a policy change on four-year college enrollment
Issue/Topic: Postsecondary Participation--Access/Outreach; Postsecondary Participation--Enrollments (Statistics)
Author(s): Hurwitz, Michael; Smith, Jonathan; Niu, Sunny: Howell, Jessica
Organization(s): College Board
Publication: Educational Evaluation & Policy Analysis
Published on: 1/1/2014
Findings/Results:  There is a two- to three-percentage point increase in any-time four-year college going rates as a result of Maine’s mandatory SAT policy which affected all public high school students. In addition:
  • The total number of SAT test-takers in Maine inc...

High School Socioeconomic Segregation and Student Attainment
Purpose: To examine the associations between socioeconomic composition (SEC) and attainment measured at two critical transitions—high school graduation and college enrollment—and to investigate school mechanisms that mediate those associations
Issue/Topic: Desegregation; Student Achievement--Closing the Achievement Gap
Author(s): Palardy, Gregory
Publication: American Educational Research Journal
Published on: 3/26/2013

Question 1 To what degree do student attainment, academic and family background, and school factors vary in low, medium, and high SEC schools?

The ACT of Enrollment: College Enrollment Effects of State-Required College Entrance Exam Testing
Purpose: To study the effect of state college entrance exam requirements on college-going rates in Colorado, Illinois, and Maine; to evaluate whether this state policy option changes college enrollment choices.
Issue/Topic: Assessment--College Entrance Exams; Postsecondary Participation--Access; Postsecondary Success--Completion
Author(s): Klasik, Daniel
Organization(s): Stanford University
Publication: Educational Researcher
Published on: 2/26/2013
  • Overall Enrollment: There were no notable changes in enrollment in Colorado or Illinois institutions. Maine, however, saw roughly a 10% drop in the number of students enrolled in its colleges.
  • Sector-Bas...

Modeling Entrance into STEM Fields of Study Among Students Beginning at Community Colleges and Four-Year Institutions
Purpose: To examine the factors that shape students' decision to pursue STEM fields; to identify effective points of intervention pathways to and through STEM majors.
Issue/Topic: Postsecondary Participation--Access; Postsecondary Success--Completion; STEM
Author(s): Wang, Xueli
Organization(s): University of Wisconsin-Madison
Publication: Research in Higher Education
Published on: 2/24/2013
  • While math self-efficacy and exposure to advanced math and science courses in high school were significant predictors of STEM interest for all college students, the effect for community college students was much lower than for their university pee...

Equity or Marginalization?: The High School Course-Taking of Students Labeled With a Learning Disability
Purpose: To investigate whether students labeled with learning disabilities complete fewer academic courses by the end of high school compared to their peers who are not labeled, when both cohorts have similar backround characteristics, early high school experiences, achievement, attitudes, and behaviors
Issue/Topic: Equity; High School--College Readiness
Author(s): Callahan, Rebecca; Muller, Chandra; Shifrer, Dara
Organization(s): Rice University; University of Texas
Publication: American Educational Research Journal
Published on: 1/1/2013
  • Findings suggest that students labeled with a learning disablity (LD) have considerably poorer course-taking outcomes than students who are not labeled with disability but are otherwise similar.
  • Results are consistent with t...

Determinants of Mismatch Between Students and Colleges
Purpose: To examine mismatch between student ability and college quality and to understand the implications for the design of state higher education systems and for student aid policy
Issue/Topic: Postsecondary Participation--Access/Outreach; Postsecondary Participation--Admissions/Coursework Requirements
Author(s): Andrew Smith, Jeffrey; Wiske Dillon, Eleanor
Organization(s): National Bureau of Economic Research
Publication: National Bureau of Economic Research Working Paper
Published on: 1/1/2013
  • A majority of students are either overmatched or undermatched when they enroll in college. Undermatch is defined as a high ability student attending a low quality college and overmatch is a low ability student attending a high quality college. ...

The Impact of GEAR UP on College Readiness for Students in Low Income Schools
Purpose: To evaluate the impact of the Gaining Early Awareness and Readiness for Undergraduate Program (GEAR UP) on college readiness outcomes.
Issue/Topic: High School--College Readiness
Author(s): Bausmith, Jennifer; France, Megan
Organization(s): Santa Clara University Kenna Hall; The College Board
Publication: Journal of Education for Students Placed at Risk (JESPAR)
Published on: 12/31/2012
Findings/Results: Overall, the GEAR UP program showed positive evidence of improving college readiness outcomes for low income students using a variety of college readiness measures.
  • Overall, schools that implemented the GEAR UP program saw a statistically signi...

A Longitudinal Investigation of African American and Hispanic Adolescents' Educational and Occupational Expectations and Corresponding Attainment in Adulthood
Purpose: To determine if African American and Hispanic students' expectations about their future education and occupation, measured by multiple surveys over time, vary by racial, ethnic, and gender groups and if these expectations predict actual educational and occupational outcomes
Issue/Topic: Minority/Diversity Issues--African American Minority/Diversity Issues--Hispanic Counseling/Guidance
Author(s): Mello, Zena R.; Anton-Stang, Hilary M.; Monaghan, Patricia L.; Roberts, Kimberly J.; Worrell, Frank C.
Publication: Journal of Education for Students Placed at Risk
Published on: 11/12/2012
  • Teenage students showed a disconnect between their occupational expectations and actual future schooling and work. Regardless of ethnicity, race, and gender, students thought more about their future education than a future career, and their exp...

Information and College Access: Evidence from a Randomized Field Experiment
Purpose: To examine the effects of an internet information intervention on disadvantaged students in Toronto, Canada; to use a survey instrument to test whether a short promotional video about higher education affects student interests and expectations.
Issue/Topic: High School--College Readiness; Postsecondary Participation--Outreach
Author(s): Dunn, Ryan; Oreopoulos, Philip
Organization(s): University of Toronto
Publication: National Bureau of Economic Research
Published on: 11/1/2012
  • Students gave three reasons for having low college-going interest or expectation: cost of college, poor academic achievement, and distaste for school.
  • Students exposed to the video were more likely to report lower expected earning...

Expanding Dual Enrollment: Increasing Postsecondary Access for All?
Purpose: To investigate the dual enrollment outcomes associated with a 2005 policy change intended to expand dual enrollment participation in Virginia
Issue/Topic: Postsecondary; Postsecondary Participation--Access/Outreach
Author(s): Wathington, Heather; Pretlow, Josh
Organization(s): North Carolina State University
Publication: Community College Review
Published on: 10/31/2012
Findings/Results: Virginia's 2005 dual enrollment policy change included two provisions: 1) high schools had to inform all students of dual enrollment opportunities and 2) selected freshmen and sophomores were eligible to participate. The goal was to increase overall a...

The Impact of Dual Enrollment on College Degree Attainment: Do Low-SES Students Benefit?
Purpose: To examine the influence of dual enrollment on college degree attainment and whether these influences equally benefit all students or only high-SES students.
Issue/Topic: High School--Dual/Concurrent Enrollment; P-16 or P-20
Author(s): An, Brian
Publication: Educational Evaluation and Policy Analysis
Published on: 10/9/2012

Key Finding
  • Dual enrollment positively influences college degree attainment, even after accounting for student, family,...

Effects of High School Course-Taking on Secondary and Postsecondary Success
Purpose: To examine the association between students' high school course-taking in various subjects and their 10th-grade test scores, high school graduation, entry into postsecondary, and postsecondary performance.
Issue/Topic: High School
Author(s): Conger, Dylan; Iatarola, Patrice; Long, Mark
Publication: American Educational Research Journal
Published on: 4/12/2012
  • There are substantial significant differences in outcomes for those who take rigorous courses, and these effects are often larger for disadvantaged youth and students attending disadvantaged schools.
  • Students who take at least on...

College for All: Gaps Between Desirable and Actual P-12 Math Achievement Trajectories for College Readiness
Purpose: This study addresses missing links in the current P-16 education and "College for All" debates by investigating gaps between actual and desirable math achievement trajectories for different college pathways. The goals of the study are twofold: (1) to compare performance standards, benchmarks, and norms for college readiness, and; (2) to assess college readiness gaps among all students as well as among racial and social groups.
Issue/Topic: High School--College Readiness; P-16 or P-20
Published on: 3/5/2012
Findings/Results: 1. This study revealed large disparities between actual and desirable math achievement levels for college readiness.

2. Math achievement was a good predictor of whether students in P-12 stay on track toward 2 or 4 year college education.

3. ...

The Missing "One-Offs": The Hidden Supply of High-Achieving, Low Income Students
Purpose: To discover why some low-income, high-achieving students base their college-going on income and others on achievement.
Issue/Topic: Postsecondary Participation--Access
Author(s): Avery, Christopher; Hoxby, Caroline
Organization(s): National Bureau of Economic Research
Publication: National Bureau of Economic Research
Published on: 1/1/2012
  • Low-income, high-achieving students who apply to selective institutions are admitted and graduate at high rates.
  • Low-income, high-achieving students who choose not to apply to a selective college do not come from families or neigh...

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