ERIC Number: ED331432
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1991-Mar
Who Goes Where to College: Social Class and Organizational Context Effects.
McDonough, Patricia M.
The study examined the ways in which status cultures and organizational environments influence high school students' college decision-making. Interviews were conducted with 12 white female high school seniors from four northern California high schools (a low socio-economic status(SES)/low organization public school, a low-SES/high organization Catholic school; a high-SES/low organization public school; and a high-SES/high organization private preparatory school) as well as with their best friends, parents, and counselors. The study analyzed the four schools' total resources devoted to college preparation; the structure, goals, and objectives underpinning the college guidance program; and the assumed knowledge of students participating in college planning. Findings revealed that the pressure on college-bound students is more pronounced at suburban public high schools and the private college preparatory school than others, and that school context played a significant role in shaping students' college choice. Most students applied to colleges that matched some aspect of their current habitus: colleges with the same supportive environment as their high school, or colleges consistent with their own personal values or personalities. (27 references) (LPT)
Descriptors: College Admission, College Bound Students, College Choice, College Environment, Community Influence, Decision Making, Family Influence, High School Seniors, High Schools, Higher Education, Influences, Institutional Characteristics, Personality Traits, Social Class, Social Influences, Social Status, Socioeconomic Influences, Teacher Influence
Publication Type: Reports - Research; Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Audience: Policymakers; Administrators; Practitioners
Authoring Institution: N/A
Note: Paper submitted to the Annual Meeting of the American Educational Research Association (Chicago, IL, April 3-7, 1991).