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Access to College and University: Does Distance Matter?

Listed author(s):
  • Frenette, Marc

Previous research suggests that high-school students living beyond commuting distance from a university are far less likely to attend, especially if they are from a lower-income family. This study asks three follow-up questions. First, do students who live too far to attend university 'make-up' for this disadvantage by attending college (if one is nearby)? Second, how does this uptake in college participation differ by class of income? And finally, does distance to school deter students from attending college? After controlling for various factors associated with postsecondary participation, including sex, province, family income, and parental education, students living near a college are more likely to attend college than those students living near both a university and a college. The magnitude of this uptake in college participation almost completely counterbalances the difference in university participation, yielding similar postsecondary participation rates between the two groups. It was found that the uptake in college participation in outlying areas mainly occurs within groups of students who are from lower- and middle-income families, and who live far away from universities. Although there are very few students living beyond commuting distance from a college, research has shown that these students are far less likely to attend college, especially if they are from a lower-income family.

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Paper provided by Statistics Canada, Analytical Studies Branch in its series Analytical Studies Branch Research Paper Series with number 2003201e.

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Date of creation: 04 Jun 2003
Handle: RePEc:stc:stcp3e:2003201e
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