ERIC Number: EJ1049741
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2015
Abstractor: As Provided
Does Failing a Placement Exam Discourage Underprepared Students from Going to College?
Martorell, Paco; McFarlin, Isaac, Jr.; Xue, Yu
Education Finance and Policy, v10 n1 p46-80 Win 2015
About one third of college students are required to take remedial courses. Assignment to remediation is generally made on the basis of performance on a placement exam. When students are required to take a placement exam "prior" to enrolling in college-level courses, assignment to remediation may dissuade students from actually going to college. This is because remediation could increase the time required to complete a degree (because remedial courses do not count toward academic degrees), and also because being identified as needing remediation might have stigma effects or provide students with new information about their unsuitability for college. This paper examines this issue empirically using administrative data from Texas. Using regression discontinuity methods, we find that students whose placement exam scores would require them to be in remediation are no less likely to enroll in college than are students who score just above the remediation placement cutoff.
Descriptors: Academic Failure, Student Placement, College Entrance Examinations, Remedial Programs, Student Records, Data Analysis, Regression (Statistics), Scores, Enrollment Trends, Enrollment Influences, Cutting Scores, College Bound Students
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: Higher Education; Postsecondary Education; High Schools; Secondary Education
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: Texas
Grant or Contract Numbers: N/A