College Admissions

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Looking at the longitudinal data, we find a more nuanced pattern than either of these hypotheses indicated. We find that although low-income students have shown strong gains in the indicators that lead to admission to highly selective schools—and therefore might be seen as undermatching—higher income students have simultaneously made even stronger gains on these same indicators. Thus, enrollment in selective colleges has become a horse race in which wealthier students always remain at the head of the pack. As a result, lowincome students have failed to make substantial gains in college placement despite substantial increases in academic course achievement.[1]

  1. Bastedo, M. N., & Jaquette, O. (2011). Running in place: Low-income students and the dynamics of higher education stratification. Educational Evaluation and Policy Analysis, 33(3), 318-339.