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Test Scores, Educational Opportunities, and Individual Choice

  • Steven F. Venti
  • David A. Wise

A model combining student preferences for college with university admissions decisions is estimated to provide information on the role of test scores in the determination of post-secondary educational opportunities. In contrast to implications of much of the recent criticism of tests and their use, we find that scholastic aptitude test scores are more strongly related to student application and choice of college "quality" than to college admissions decisions. In addition, although there is a substantial correlation between test scores and high school performance, we find that both post-secondary school preferences and ultimate opportunities are related as much to performance in high school as to test scores themselves. Although SAT scores certainly exclude some persons from schools, our findings indicate that they do not represent a dominating constraint on the college opportunities of high school graduates.

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File URL: http://www.nber.org/papers/w0710.pdf
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Paper provided by National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc in its series NBER Working Papers with number 0710.

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Date of creation: Jul 1981
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Publication status: published as Venti, Steven F. and David A. Wise. "Test Scores, Educational Opportunities , and Individual Choice." Journal of Public Economics, Vol. 18 (1982), pp. 35-63.
Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:0710
Note: LS
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  1. Steven F. Venti & David A. Wise, 1981. "Test Scores and Self-Selection of Higher Education: College Attendance versus College Completion," NBER Working Papers 0709, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  2. John Abowd, 1977. "An Econometric Model of the U.S. Market for Higher Education," Working Papers 482, Princeton University, Department of Economics, Industrial Relations Section..
  3. Robert J. Willis & Sherwin Rosen, 1978. "Education and Self-Selection," NBER Working Papers 0249, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  4. Lewis C. Solomon, 1975. "The Definition of College Quality and Its Impact on Earnings," NBER Chapters, in: Explorations in Economic Research, Volume 2, number 4, pages 537-587 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  5. Duncan, Gregory M, 1980. "Formulation and Statistical Analysis of the Mixed, Continuous/Discrete Dependent Variable Model in Classical Production Theory," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 48(4), pages 839-52, May.
  6. Ernst R. Berndt & Bronwyn H. Hall & Robert E. Hall & Jerry A. Hausman, 1974. "Estimation and Inference in Nonlinear Structural Models," NBER Chapters, in: Annals of Economic and Social Measurement, Volume 3, number 4, pages 653-665 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
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