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Take Two! SAT Retaking and College Enrollment Gaps

Author

Listed:
  • Goodman, Joshua

    (Harvard Kennedy School)

  • Gurantz, Oded

    (University of Missouri)

  • Smith, Jonathan

    (Georgia State University)

Abstract

Data on millions of SAT-takers show only half retake the exam, with even lower retake rates among low income and underrepresented minority students. Scoring below multiples of 100 increases retaking, implying some students have round number target scores. Regression discontinuity evidence finds retaking once improves admissions-relevant SAT scores by 0.3 standard deviations on average. Likely by strengthening college applications, retaking substantially increases four-year college enrollment, particularly for low income and underrepresented minority students. Eliminating disparities in retake rates could close up to 20 percent of the income gap and 10 percent of the racial gap in four-year college enrollment.

Suggested Citation

  • Goodman, Joshua & Gurantz, Oded & Smith, Jonathan, 2018. "Take Two! SAT Retaking and College Enrollment Gaps," Working Paper Series rwp18-031, Harvard University, John F. Kennedy School of Government.
  • Handle: RePEc:ecl:harjfk:rwp18-031
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    2. Bernal, Gloria L. & Penney, Jeffrey, 2019. "Scholarships and student effort: Evidence from Colombia’s Ser Pilo Paga program," Economics of Education Review, Elsevier, vol. 72(C), pages 121-130.

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    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • I2 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Education
    • I20 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Education - - - General
    • I23 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Education - - - Higher Education; Research Institutions
    • I24 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Education - - - Education and Inequality
    • J24 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demand and Supply of Labor - - - Human Capital; Skills; Occupational Choice; Labor Productivity

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