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What is keeping the poor out of college?: Enrollment rates, educational barriers and college matriculation in China

Purpose - With the rise in the opportunity to go to college, the purpose of this paper is to identify if China's rural poor are being excluded from the university system, and if so, why. Design/methodology/approach - Two sets of the authors' own primary survey data were used: a group of randomly selected high school students in Shaanxi Province and a census of all freshmen entering into four universities in Sichuan, Anhui and Shaanxi. The intention was to show if the rate of the rural poor attending universities is lower than that of urban students and that of rural non-poor; also to identify the barriers to education (if they exist) that are keeping enrollment rates low for the rural poor. The authors used ordinary least squares method to make the estimations. Findings - Matriculation rate of the poor into college was found to be substantially lower than the students from non-poor families. Clearly, barriers exist that are excluding the rural poor; however, the authors demonstrate that the real barriers are not at the point of college admissions, but before students have even matriculated into high school. Originality/value - This is the first empirical work which studies the barriers that keep the poor out of university.

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Article provided by Emerald Group Publishing in its journal China Agricultural Economic Review.

Volume (Year): 3 (2011)
Issue (Month): 2 (May)
Pages: 131-149

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Handle: RePEc:eme:caerpp:v:3:y:2011:i:2:p:131-149
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