NATIONAL BUREAU OF ECONOMIC RESEARCH
NATIONAL BUREAU OF ECONOMIC RESEARCH

Jane Arnold Lincove

Associate Professor
UMBC School of Public Policy

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NBER Working Papers and Publications

August 2016Match or Mismatch? Automatic Admissions and College Preferences of Low- and High-Income Students
with Kalena E. Cortes: w22559
We examine the role of information in the college matching behavior of low- and high-income students, exploiting a state automatic admissions policy that provides some students with perfect a priori certainty of college admissions. We find that admissions certainty encourages college-ready low-income students to seek more rigorous universities. Low-income students who are less college-ready are not influenced by admissions certainty and are sensitive to college entrance exams scores. Most students also prefer campuses with students of similar race, income, and high school class rank, but only highly-qualified low-income students choose institutions where they have fewer same-race and same-income peers.
July 2015Apply Yourself: Racial and Ethnic Differences in College Application
with Sandra E. Black, Kalena E. Cortes: w21368
Access to higher education begins with a student’s decision whether and where to apply to college. This paper examines racial and ethnic differences in college application behavior of high school graduates, using two recent graduation cohorts from Texas. We estimate racial and ethnic differences in the probability of applying to college, controlling for a student’s college readiness, high school quality, certainty of college admissions, and high school fixed effects. We then investigate racial and ethnic differences in the choice of where to apply. We enhance the typical model of college matching by considering the social setting and high school feeder patterns of state universities. We find that racial and ethnic gaps in application rates, particularly for Hispanic students, are not expla...
December 2014Efficacy vs. Equity: What Happens When States Tinker with College Admissions in a Race-Blind Era?
with Sandra E. Black, Kalena E. Cortes: w20804
College admissions officers face a rapidly changing policy environment where court decisions have limited the use of affirmative action. At the same time, there is mounting evidence that commonly used signals of college readiness, such as the SAT/ACTs, are subject to race and socioeconomic bias. Our study investigates the efficacy and equity of college admissions criteria by estimating the effect of multiple measures of college readiness on freshman college grade point average and four-year graduation. Importantly, we take advantage of a unique institutional feature of the Texas higher education system to control for selection into admissions and enrollment. We find that SAT/ACT scores, high school exit exams, and advanced coursework are predictors of student success in college. However, w...
January 2014Can You Leave High School Behind?
with Sandra E. Black, Jenna Cullinane, Rachel Veron: w19842
In recent years, many states, including California, Texas, and Oregon, have changed admissions policies to increase access to public universities for students from lower socioeconomic backgrounds. A key concern, however, is how these students will perform. This paper examines the relationship between high school quality and student success at college. Using newly available administrative data from the University of Texas at Austin, we take advantage of the unique policy environment provided by Texas's Top Ten Percent automatic admissions law, which has not only increased the diversity of high schools in the state that send students to the university, but also provides an admission criteria based on a sole observable characteristic: high school class rank. We find that high school charac...

Published: Black, Sandra E. & Lincove, Jane & Cullinane, Jennifer & Veron, Rachel, 2015. "Can you leave high school behind?," Economics of Education Review, Elsevier, vol. 46(C), pages 52-63. citation courtesy of

 
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