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ERIC Number: EJ1042031
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2014-Sep
Pages: 25
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: 23
ISBN: N/A
ISSN: ISSN-0162-3737
True for Your School? How Changing Reputations Alter Demand for Selective U.S. Colleges
Alter, Molly; Reback, Randall
Educational Evaluation and Policy Analysis, v36 n3 p346-370 Sep 2014
There is a comprehensive literature documenting how colleges' tuition, financial aid packages, and academic reputations influence students' application and enrollment decisions. Far less is known about how quality-of-life reputations and peer institutions' reputations affect these decisions. This article investigates these issues using data from two prominent college guidebook series to measure changes in reputations. We use information published annually by the "Princeton Review"--the best-selling college guidebook that formally categorizes colleges based on both academic and quality-of-life indicators--and the "U.S. News and World Report"--the most famous rankings of U.S. undergraduate programs. Our findings suggest that changes in academic and quality-of-life reputations affect the number of applications received by a college and the academic competitiveness and geographic diversity of the ensuing incoming freshman class. Colleges receive fewer applications when peer universities earn high academic ratings. However, unfavorable quality-of-life ratings for peers are followed by decreases in the college's own application pool and the academic competitiveness of its incoming class. This suggests that potential applicants often begin their search process by shopping for groups of colleges where non-pecuniary benefits may be relatively high.
SAGE Publications. 2455 Teller Road, Thousand Oaks, CA 91320. Tel: 800-818-7243; Tel: 805-499-9774; Fax: 800-583-2665; e-mail: journals@sagepub.com; Web site: http://sagepub.com
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Evaluative
Education Level: Higher Education; Postsecondary Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A