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Using Admission Tests to Predict Success in College — Evidence from the University of Puerto Rico

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Listed:
  • James F Ragan

    () (Department of Economics, Kansas State University, Manhattan, Kansas 66506, USA.)

  • Dong Li

    () (Department of Economics, Kansas State University, Manhattan, Kansas 66506, USA.)

  • Horacio Matos-Díaz

    (Department of Business Administration, University of Puerto Rico at Bayamón, Bayamón, Puerto Rico 00959-1911)

Abstract

In making admission decisions, many colleges have de-emphasized standardized test scores. Using data for seven cohorts of applicants to the University of Puerto Rico, we assess the ability of test scores and other proxies of academic potential to predict student GPA. We study sample selection and address a dilemma facing admissions offices: college grades of non-matriculants are unknowable. We find that decreasing the weight on admission tests benefits females and students from public high schools and that college grades can be predicted more accurately by increasing (decreasing) the weight on mathematical aptitude for students choosing more (less) quantitative programs.

Suggested Citation

  • James F Ragan & Dong Li & Horacio Matos-Díaz, 2011. "Using Admission Tests to Predict Success in College — Evidence from the University of Puerto Rico," Eastern Economic Journal, Palgrave Macmillan;Eastern Economic Association, vol. 37(4), pages 470-487.
  • Handle: RePEc:pal:easeco:v:37:y:2011:i:4:p:470-487
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    Cited by:

    1. By Vincenzo Carrieri & Marcello D’Amato & Roberto Zotti, 2015. "On the causal effects of selective admission policies on students’ performances: evidence from a quasi-experiment in a large Italian university," Oxford Economic Papers, Oxford University Press, vol. 67(4), pages 1034-1056.
    2. Alejandro Abarca & Rolando Leiva & Juan Robalino & Milagro Saborio-Rodriguez, 2016. "Diferencias en la permanencia y el desempeño en la educación superior entre estudiantes provenientes de colegios públicas y privadas," Working Papers 201603, Universidad de Costa Rica, revised Jun 2016.
    3. CARRIERI, Vincenzo & D'AMATO, Marcello & ZOTTI, Roberto, 2013. "Selective Admission Tests and Students' Performances. Evidence from a Natural Experiment in a Large Italian University," CELPE Working Papers 0/00, CELPE - Centre of Labour Economics and Economic Policy, University of Salerno, Italy.

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