Universities’ Admission Policy and Student Competition
The article models the competition of high school graduates for state-financed admission to the prestigious universities and analyze the impact of admission policy design on students’ choice. Under limited supply, the admission is based on the applicants’ rating composed on the basis of the Unified State Exam (USE) results, academic olimpics and other achievements. High school graduates allocate their efforts between specific training for standardized tests and learning. The latter is more efficient in terms of human capital building but less efficient in terms of improving exam scores. The cut-off final score is used to balance demand and supply. By changing the weight of non-exam activities in the final score, universities affect the distribution of effort by high-school graduates. It is shown that the possibility of training-for-exam increases students’ expected exam scores, but does not change the students ranking and does not distort the allocation of students between prestigious universities and other higher education institutions. It results however in substitution of learning for training that deteriorates human capital and worsens the quality of enrolment. The optimal design of admission policy in presence of training-for-exam should place higher weight to the academic olimpics and other non-exam achievements. At the national level, the frequent changes in the content and the format of USE tests could be used as a partial remedy
Volume (Year): 5 (2016)
Issue (Month): (October)
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References listed on IDEAS
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