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Ed Knows Policy

EKP -- a local (Washington, DC) and national blog about education policy, politics, and research.

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Friday, July 07, 2006

College choice of Texas's top high school grads

Marta Tienda and her colleagues at Princeton University have a paper (pdf), which just came out in a prestigious academic journal, describing the college choices of the top 10% of each high school in Texas. The topic is interesting, but I'm surprised they were allowed to publish such a mundane result, which is that high school grads are eager to get into selective colleges, although black and Hispanic students less so.

I guess this is important because of Texas' top 10% law, which tries to get around race-sensitive admission to state universities by capitalizing on the racial segregation by school and therefore giving school-based preferences.

Abstract of the paper below the fold...


Here's the abstract, with some edits for clarity. I put in some paragraph breaks, emphasis (all mine), and numbered the conclusions.


This paper addresses how institutional selectivity influences college preferences and enrollment decisions of Texas seniors in the presence of a putatively race-neutral admissions policy, the top 10% law.

We analyze a representative survey of Texas high school seniors as of spring, 2002, who were re-interviewed 1 year later to evaluate differences in selectivity of college preferences and enrollment decisions according to three criteria targeted by the new admissions law: high school type, class rank and minority group status.

[We reached] three major conclusions.

1. Texas seniors, and top decile graduates in particular, are highly responsive to institutional selectivity.

2. Graduates from feeder and resource-affluent high schools are more likely, whereas their counterparts who graduated from resource-poor, Longhorn or Century scholarship high schools are less likely, to choose selective institutions as their first preference. Both for first college preference and enrollment decisions, blacks and Hispanics are less likely than whites to opt for selective colleges.

3. Although disparities in selectivity of college preferences by high school type and minority group status persist among top decile graduates, these do not carry into actual matriculation, a result we attribute to the selection regime governing application and enrollment decisions.

1 Comments:

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2:25 AM  

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