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Can't get there from here: The decision to apply to a selective college

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  • Griffith, Amanda L.
  • Rothstein, Donna S.

Abstract

In an attempt to increase applications from low-income students, some selective 4-year colleges are developing programs to target and attract low-income students. However, relatively little research has looked at factors important in the college application process, and in particular, how these factors differ for low-income students. This paper uses data from the National Longitudinal Survey of Youth 1997 (NLSY97) to analyze factors influencing students' college application decisions, with a focus on the decision to apply to a selective 4-year college. We hypothesize that distance from a student's home to selective colleges may play a role in the application decision and differentially impact low-income students. Our results suggest that distance does matter, although the effects do not vary by family income level.

Suggested Citation

  • Griffith, Amanda L. & Rothstein, Donna S., 2009. "Can't get there from here: The decision to apply to a selective college," Economics of Education Review, Elsevier, vol. 28(5), pages 620-628, October.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:ecoedu:v:28:y:2009:i:5:p:620-628
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    References listed on IDEAS

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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. Long, Mark C., 2008. "College quality and early adult outcomes," Economics of Education Review, Elsevier, vol. 27(5), pages 588-602, October.
    3. Toutkoushian, Robert K., 2001. "Do parental income and educational attainment affect the initial choices of New Hampshire's college-bound students?," Economics of Education Review, Elsevier, vol. 20(3), pages 245-262, June.
    4. Stacy Berg Dale & Alan B. Krueger, 2002. "Estimating the Payoff to Attending a More Selective College: An Application of Selection on Observables and Unobservables," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 117(4), pages 1491-1527.
    5. Catharine B. Hill & Gordon C. Winston & Stephanie A. Boyd, 2005. "Affordability: Family Incomes and Net Prices at Highly Selective Private Colleges and Universities," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 40(4), pages 769-790.
    6. Do, Chau, 2004. "The effects of local colleges on the quality of college attended," Economics of Education Review, Elsevier, vol. 23(3), pages 249-257, June.
    7. Berhman, J-R & Kletzer, L & Constantine, J & McPherson, M & Schapiro, M-O, 1996. "The Impact of College Quality on Wages : Are There Differences Among Demographic Groups?," Williams Project on the Economics of Higher Education DP-38, Department of Economics, Williams College.
    8. Dominic J. Brewer & Eric Eide & Ronald G. Ehrenberg, 1996. "Does It Pay To Attend An Elite Private College? Cross Cohort Evidence on the Effects of College Quality on Earnings," NBER Working Papers 5613, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    9. DesJardins, Stephen L. & Dundar, Halil & Hendel, Darwin D., 1999. "Modeling the College Application Decision Process in a Land-Grant University," Economics of Education Review, Elsevier, vol. 18(1), pages 117-132, February.
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    Citations

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    Cited by:

    1. Dillon, Eleanor & Smith, Jeffrey A., 2015. "The Consequences of Academic Match between Students and Colleges," IZA Discussion Papers 9080, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
    2. repec:hpe:journl:y:2017:v:220:i:1:p:13-55 is not listed on IDEAS
    3. Valerie Bostwick, 2016. "Signaling In Higher Education: The Effect Of Access To Elite Colleges On Choice Of Major," Economic Inquiry, Western Economic Association International, vol. 54(3), pages 1383-1401, July.
    4. Booij, Adam S. & Leuven, Edwin & Oosterbeek, Hessel, 2012. "The role of information in the take-up of student loans," Economics of Education Review, Elsevier, vol. 31(1), pages 33-44.
    5. Sandra E. Black & Kalena E. Cortes & Jane Arnold Lincove, 2015. "Apply Yourself: Racial and Ethnic Differences in College Application," NBER Working Papers 21368, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    6. repec:spr:reihed:v:59:y:2018:i:5:d:10.1007_s11162-017-9482-y is not listed on IDEAS
    7. Joan Rosselló Villalonga, 2013. "¿Importa la calidad de las Universidades en la elección de los estudiantes?," Hacienda Pública Española, IEF, vol. 207(4), pages 41-70, December.
    8. Falch, Torberg & Lujala, Päivi & Strøm, Bjarne, 2013. "Geographical constraints and educational attainment," Regional Science and Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 43(1), pages 164-176.
    9. Berardino Cesi & Dimitri Paolini, 2014. "Peer Group and Distance: When Widening University Participation is Better," Manchester School, University of Manchester, vol. 82, pages 110-132, December.
    10. Doyle, William R. & Skinner, Benjamin T., 2016. "Estimating the education-earnings equation using geographic variation," Economics of Education Review, Elsevier, vol. 53(C), pages 254-267.
    11. Lincove, Jane Arnold & Cortes, Kalena E., 2016. "Match or Mismatch? Automatic Admissions and College Preferences of Low- and High-Income Students," IZA Discussion Papers 10150, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
    12. Sørensen, Elise Stenholt & Høst, Anders Kamp, 2015. "Does distance determine who is in higher education?," MPRA Paper 74517, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    13. Zurab Abramishvili & Lasha Lanchava, 2015. "Education for the Poor," CERGE-EI Working Papers wp542, The Center for Economic Research and Graduate Education - Economics Institute, Prague.
    14. Salas, Vania B., 2014. "International Remittances and Human Capital Formation," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 59(C), pages 224-237.
    15. Jane Arnold Lincove & Kalena E. Cortes, 2016. "Match or Mismatch? Automatic Admissions and College Preferences of Low- and High-Income Students," NBER Working Papers 22559, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    16. Chakrabarti, Rajashri & Roy, Joydeep, 2013. "Merit aid, student mobility, and the role of college selectivity," Staff Reports 641, Federal Reserve Bank of New York.
    17. Denzler, Stefan & Wolter, Stefan C., 2011. "Too Far to Go? Does Distance Determine Study Choices?," IZA Discussion Papers 5712, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
    18. Ilya Prakhov & Denis Sergienko, 2017. "Matching between Students and Universities: What are the Sources of Inequalities of Access to Higher Education?," HSE Working papers WP BRP 45/EDU/2017, National Research University Higher School of Economics.

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    Keywords

    Educational economics School choice;

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