Increasing Admission of Low-Income Students in Engineering

April 5, 2017

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Title: Increasing Admission of Low-Income Students in Engineering

Author: Michael Bastedo, Nicholas Bowman, Kristen Glasener and Jandi Kelly

Source: University of Michigan Center for the Study of Higher and Postsecondary Education

Students of the lowest socioeconomic quartile represent only four percent of total enrollment at selective colleges and universities. A policy brief from University of Michigan’s Center for the Study of Higher and Postsecondary Education discusses results from a randomized experiment conducted to determine whether more contextualized information on low-income students’ background and high school would affect the percentage of low-income engineering students admitted.

Experiment findings show that when consistent, detailed data on high school contexts were provided, admissions officers were 13-14 percent more likely to admit low-income engineering students. This policy brief provides insight into the role that data on high school environments and student backgrounds play in admissions and also offers policy and practice implications for institutions.

The full policy brief can be read here.

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