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ERIC Number: ED482419
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 2003-Mar
Pages: 81
Abstractor: N/A
Socioeconomic Status, Race/Ethnicity, and Selective College Admissions. A Century Foundation Paper.
Carnevale, Anthony P.; Rose, Stephen J.
This study analyzes longitudinal National Center for Education Statistics data, including individualized high school records, college entrance exams, and socioeconomic background. It looks at how admissions officers currently make decisions and trends in admissions decisions between 1979-2000. Reports findings of an Educational Testing Service poll of the American public on admissions questions. These data are applied to the nation's most competitive four-year colleges. Chapter 1, "Who Attends Selective Universities", finds that under current affirmative action policies, racial minorities and low-income students are underrepresented. Chapter 2, "Why It Matters Who Attends Selective Universities", finds that attending a selective institution provides greater likelihood of graduating, greater access to graduate schooling, and a wage premium in the labor market. Chapter 3, "Defining Merit and Fairness in College Admissions", examines how merit is defined by key audiences, concluding that a dynamic concept of merit is widely accepted as appropriate. Chapter 4, "Economic Affirmative Action", concludes that while selective colleges purport to provide preferences to low-income students, they actually do not provide systemic preference. Chapter 5, "Simulation of Alternative Admission Strategies", concludes that a system of grades and test scores would significantly reduce racial and ethnic diversity but increase income diversity. Chapter 6, "Policy Recommendations", emphasizes class rank plans, economic affirmative action, race based affirmative action, and financial aid policies. (Contains 43 endnotes and 19 tables/figures.) (SM)
The Century Foundation, 41 East 70th Street, New York, NY 10021. Tel: 212-535-4441; Fax: 212-535-7534; e-mail:; Web site:
Publication Type: Reports - Research
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: Century Foundation, New York, NY.
Grant or Contract Numbers: N/A