Associate Professor of Sociology and Education, University of Virginia
While ample research has documented social class gaps in college entry and completion, recent studies have highlighted another dimension of inequality - academic undermatch, which occurs when students attend institutions that are less selective than they are academically qualified to attend. In this project, we consider how different factors contribute to social class inequality in undermatch. In particular, we focus on different dimensions of social and cultural capital, while distinguishing between different types of undermatch. Results reveal complex relationships between different forms of capital and their contributions to social class inequality. These exploratory results contribute to current debates on academic undermatch and illuminate possibilities and challenges of reducing social inequality in college destinations.