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Diffusion of Common Application Membership and Admissions Outcomes at American Colleges and Universities

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  • Albert Yung-Hsu Liu
  • Ronald G. Ehrenberg
  • Jesenka Mrdjenovic

Abstract

We study the adoption of Common Application membership by private four-year postsecondary institutions and its role in explaining the growth in undergraduate applications. Using data from the College Board's Annual Survey of Colleges, our estimation of proportional hazard models suggest that institutions respond to the net benefit of adoption. We estimate that membership increases applications by 5.7 to 7.0 percent and decreases yield rates by 2.8 to 3.9 percent. Acceptance rates decrease for members when their local networks are large. Membership is also associated with a decline in SAT scores and an increase in the percentage of students of color. Finally, falsification tests indicate that membership effects occur as a one-time adoption shock that persists thereafter.

Suggested Citation

  • Albert Yung-Hsu Liu & Ronald G. Ehrenberg & Jesenka Mrdjenovic, 2007. "Diffusion of Common Application Membership and Admissions Outcomes at American Colleges and Universities," NBER Working Papers 13175, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  • Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:13175
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    3. Parker, Jeffrey & Summers, Jeffrey, 1993. "Tuition and enrollment yield at selective liberal arts colleges," Economics of Education Review, Elsevier, vol. 12(4), pages 311-324, December.
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    Cited by:

    1. Griffith, Amanda L., 2011. "Keeping up with the Joneses: Institutional changes following the adoption of a merit aid policy," Economics of Education Review, Elsevier, vol. 30(5), pages 1022-1033, October.

    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • I21 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Education - - - Analysis of Education
    • L11 - Industrial Organization - - Market Structure, Firm Strategy, and Market Performance - - - Production, Pricing, and Market Structure; Size Distribution of Firms
    • L14 - Industrial Organization - - Market Structure, Firm Strategy, and Market Performance - - - Transactional Relationships; Contracts and Reputation

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