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“Improving Admission of Low-SES Students at Selective Colleges”

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Admission officers at selective colleges are more likely to offer spots to low-income students if they have a better understanding of the high schools those students attend, finds a study in the March issue of Education Researcher.

In the study, 311 admission officers at 174 competitive colleges were asked to review three applications, all from fictional white male students who planned to major in engineering. Each school included fictional details about graduation rates and parent education levels signaling that the school was either high or low income.

However, half the participants received more information about the schools, such as their poverty rates, Advanced Placement offerings and students’ scores on the AP tests, and average ACT or SAT scores. The details provided more educational context.

When admission officers had more detailed information about low-income students’ schools, they were 26 percent to 28 percent more likely to admit them.

Vol. 36, Issue 27, Page 5

Published in Print: April 5, 2017, as College Access
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