College Access and Success

Rational ignorance in education: A field experiment in student plagiarism

Plagiarism appears to be a common problem among college students, yet there is little evidence on the effectiveness of interventions designed to minimize plagiarism. This study presents the results of a field experiment that evaluated the effects of a web-based educational tutorial in reducing plagiarism. We found that assignment to the treatment group substantially reduced the likelihood of plagiarism, particularly among student with lower SAT scores who had the highest rates of plagiarism.

Remaking College: The Changing Ecology of Higher Education

Between 1945 and 1990 the United States built the largest and most productive higher education system in world history. Over the last two decades, however, dramatic budget cuts to public academic services and skyrocketing tuition have made college completion more difficult for many. Nevertheless, the democratic promise of education and the global competition for educated workers mean ever growing demand.

Who Loses Out? Registration Order, Course Availability, and Student Behaviors in Community College

In California, the combination of budget cuts and high unemployment from the Great Recession has resulted in "overcrowded" conditions, with more students attempting to enroll in fewer available classes. State-level policy recommendations have focused on altering registration priorities to mitigate the impact of overcrowding, but it is unclear whether these changes will impact enrollment as little is known about student behavior within these systems.

College Admission Testing in America

There is rarely a more anxiety inducing event for a high school student than sitting down to take a college admission test. Scores on the SAT or ACT, the two nationally recognized college admission tests in the United States, are an important component of the admission application to colleges and universities and help the admission officers decide whether or not to accept the student into the incoming class. Most of the selective colleges and universities require high scores for acceptance, and many competitive scholarships use admission test scores as one of several selection criteria.

Race, income, and enrollment patterns in highly selective colleges, 1982-2004

Where a student attends college has become increasingly important in the last few decades. As education has grown significantly more important in the labor market, competition among students for access to the most selective colleges and universities has grown as well. In this brief we examine patterns of enrollment, by race and family income, in the most selective colleges and universities.

Assessing the college contribution to civic engagement

About two out of three high-school graduates currently enroll at one of America's 4,000 colleges or universities within a year of graduation. But even though college enrollment has increased over the past few decades, college completion rates have fallen. How do so many talented and promising students get derailed along the way? This book examines the financial and social roadblocks as well as the level of college-prep readiness that can affect learning and ultimately graduation rates.

Who loses HOPE? Attrition from Georgia's College Scholarship Program

Georgia’s lottery-funded HOPE Scholarship program provides free tuition to in-state students who can maintain a B average at state universities. However, roughly half of HOPE Scholars lose their support after their freshman year. This study employs student-level administrative data to identify the observed characteristics that systematically relate to scholarship attrition. Conditional on measures of student ability, there are not statistically significant differences between white, black, and Hispanic students. However, there are dramatic differences across academic disciplines.

Teen drinking and educational attainment: Evidence from Two-Sample Instrumental Variables (TSIV) estimates

This study examines the effects of teen alcohol use and availability on educational attainment. We demonstrate that teens who faced a lower minimum legal drinking age (MLDA) were substantially more likely to drink. However, we find that changes in MLDA had small and statistically insignificant effects on educational attainment. Using matched cohorts from two data sets, we also report two-sample instrumental variables estimates of the effect of teen drinking on educational attainment.