ERIC Number: ED201265
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1981-Apr
Reference Count: 0
Reconceptualizing Equity in Postsecondary Participation Patterns.
Hearn, James C.
Equity in the institutional choices of enrolling college students was assessed. The focus of study was whether students similar in educationally relevant characteristics, but dissimilar in ascriptive or socioeconomic background characteristics, attend similar institutions at similar rates. The study was based on multiple regression analysis of comprehensive student survey and college attendance data. A random sample of 5,211 students from a nationally representative sample of 1975 college freshmen was studied. The results suggest that aside from the predictable role of the educationally relevant factors (ability, achievement, involvement, and aspirations) a significant limiting role in the nature of institutional choice is played by socioeconomic background factors. Specifically, lower parental education, lower parental income, and greater family size all tended to limit the student body quality (selectivity), opportunity structure (prestige), resource availability, and cost of the institutions chosen by the 1975 student sample. The net influences of the ascriptive factors of race, ethnicity, and sex were more mixed. The results suggest that the inequity in the college choice process, from a meritocratic perspective, lies largely in class-related factors rather than in ascriptive factors. Lower parental social and economic resources appear to limit significantly the nature of the college experiences of offspring. A bibliography is appended. (SW)
Descriptors: Academic Ability, Academic Achievement, Academic Aspiration, Academic Standards, Access to Education, College Choice, College Freshmen, Educational Background, Educational Opportunities, Enrollment Influences, Equal Education, Family Characteristics, Family Income, Higher Education, National Surveys, Parent Background, Parent Influence, Social Class, Socioeconomic Status, Student Characteristics
Publication Type: Speeches/Meeting Papers; Reports - Research
Education Level: N/A
Sponsor: Advanced Technology, Inc., McLean, VA.; American Coll. Testing Program, Iowa City, IA.
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers: Equity (Education)
Note: Paper presented at the Annual Meeting of the American Educational Research Association (Los Angeles, CA, April 13-17, 1981).