December 2015

IZA DP No. 9598: Can Admissions Percent Plans Lead to Better Collegiate Fit for Minority Students?

published in: American Economic Review, May 2016, 106(5): 348-354

Why do so many students mismatch when choosing a college? A plausible hypothesis is a lack of information about the likelihood of admission. This study contributes to the literature on mismatch by testing whether public university automatic admissions policies mitigate academic undermatch and promote academic overmatch by providing some students with admissions certainty. Focusing on the interaction of admissions certainty and race/ethnicity, our results support the hypothesis that a priori admissions information can vastly improve minority access to college quality by encouraging eligible students to apply to, and more importantly, enroll in more challenging institutions.