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Minority Enrollments at Public Universities of Diverse Selectivity Levels under Different Admission Regimes: The Case of Texas

  • Mariana Alfonso
  • Juan Carlos Calcagno
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    This study describes how minority enrollment probabilities respond to changes in admission policies from affirmative-action to merit-only programs and then to percentage plans when the demographic composition of the potential pool of applicants is also shifting. It takes advantage of admission policy changes that occurred in the state of Texas with the Hopwood and HB588 decisions and of a unique administrative dataset that includes applications, admissions, and enrollments for three public universities of different selectivity levels. The findings suggest that the elimination of affirmative action and the introduction of the Top 10% plan had differential effects on minority enrollment probabilities as well as on application behavior depending on the selectivity level of the postsecondary institution. In particular, Hopwood is related to shifts in minority enrollments from selective institutions to less selective ones as the cascading hypothesis predicts. And although the Top 10% plan seems to have helped increased minority enrollment probabilities at the selective college as the upgrading hypothesis predicts, once the increases in minority shares among high-school graduates are taken into account, we find that the Top 10% plan can no longer be related to improvements in minority representation at selective universities.

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    Paper provided by Inter-American Development Bank, Research Department in its series Research Department Publications with number 4542.

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    Date of creation: Oct 2007
    Date of revision:
    Handle: RePEc:idb:wpaper:4542
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    1. Daniel, K. & Black, D. & Smith, J., 1997. "College Quality and the Wages of Young Men," UWO Department of Economics Working Papers 9707, University of Western Ontario, Department of Economics.
    2. Dominic J. Brewer & Eric Eide & Ronald G. Ehrenberg, 1996. "Does It Pay To Attend An Elite Private College? Cross Cohort Evidence on the Effects of College Quality on Earnings," NBER Working Papers 5613, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    3. David Card & Alan B. Krueger, 2005. "Would the Elimination of Affirmative Action Affect Highly Qualified Minority Applicants? Evidence from California and Texas," ILR Review, Cornell University, ILR School, vol. 58(3), pages 416-434, April.
    4. Arulampalam, W. & Robin A. Naylor & Jeremy P. Smith, 2002. "University of Warwick," Royal Economic Society Annual Conference 2002 9, Royal Economic Society.
    5. Dickson, Lisa M., 2006. "Does ending affirmative action in college admissions lower the percent of minority students applying to college?," Economics of Education Review, Elsevier, vol. 25(1), pages 109-119, February.
    6. Loury, Linda Datcher & Garman, David, 1995. "College Selectivity and Earnings," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 13(2), pages 289-308, April.
    7. Long, M.C.Mark C., 2004. "College applications and the effect of affirmative action," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 121(1-2), pages 319-342.
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