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Access to College and University: Does Distance to School Matter?

  • Marc Frenette

It is already known that students from lower-income families are less likely to pursue postsecondary studies. This study contributes to our knowledge of postsecondary access by focusing on the role played by the distance separating high-school students from postsecondary institutions, with particular focus on the choice between college and university attendance. Distance to school may act as a deterrent to attending by virtue of relocation costs, especially if the student is from a lower-income family. The study findings support the notion that increased distance to school is associated with an access gap, even above and beyond the gap that has been linked to family income. Specifically, increased distance to university is associated with lower university attendance, and a larger tendency to attend the local college instead. This relationship is found to be much stronger in lower-income families.

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Article provided by University of Toronto Press in its journal Canadian Public Policy.

Volume (Year): 30 (2004)
Issue (Month): 4 (December)
Pages: 427-443

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Handle: RePEc:cpp:issued:v:30:y:2004:i:4:p:427-443
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  1. Marc Frenette, 2006. "Too Far to Go On? Distance to School and University Participation," Education Economics, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 14(1), pages 31-58.
  2. Zhao, John & Lipps, Garth & Corak, Miles, 2003. "Family Income and Participation in Post-secondary Education," Analytical Studies Branch Research Paper Series 2003210e, Statistics Canada, Analytical Studies Branch.
  3. Card, David, 1999. "The causal effect of education on earnings," Handbook of Labor Economics, in: O. Ashenfelter & D. Card (ed.), Handbook of Labor Economics, edition 1, volume 3, chapter 30, pages 1801-1863 Elsevier.
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