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College Readiness

"Can You Leave High School Behind?"

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The quality of the high school a student attends is a strong predictor of his or her grades in college, according to a new study published by the National Bureau of Economic Research.

Differences in high school quality explained approximately 20 percent of the variation in the GPAs of freshmen, says the study, conducted by researchers at the University of Texas at Austin.

The study found that high school characteristics affected performance of students from various backgrounds, but the impact was most pronounced for women and students from low-income families—and the effects persisted at least through students' junior year of college.

The study followed students who were admitted to ut Austin under the state's "Top Tenth" law, which grants automatic admission to the university to students graduating in the top 10 percent of their public high school classes.

Vol. 33, Issue 20, Page 5

Published in Print: February 5, 2014, as College Readiness
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