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Choosing College in the 2000s: An Updated Analysis Using the Conditional Logistic Choice Model

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  • Benjamin T. Skinner

    (University of Virginia)

Abstract

In this paper I investigate the college enrollment decisions of a nationally representative cohort of students who first attended in the mid-2000s. I find that while cost, distance, and match continued to be important in the choice between colleges, characteristics of the most-likely college choice appear less important in the choice of whether to enroll at all when controlling for student characteristics and local labor market conditions. Subpopulation analyses on students with high SAT scores and students with low family income, two groups that remain the focus of many financial aid policies, indicate some differences in the way these particular students chose college. Extending prior work by modeling discrete steps in the enrollment decision process—application and enrollment conditional on application—I find choice characteristics were most significant in the application stage. These results support other research that shows students may self-select out of potentially better college matches due to lack of information about actual costs or limited geographic opportunity.

Suggested Citation

  • Benjamin T. Skinner, 2019. "Choosing College in the 2000s: An Updated Analysis Using the Conditional Logistic Choice Model," Research in Higher Education, Springer;Association for Institutional Research, vol. 60(2), pages 153-183, March.
  • Handle: RePEc:spr:reihed:v:60:y:2019:i:2:d:10.1007_s11162-018-9507-1
    DOI: 10.1007/s11162-018-9507-1
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