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ERIC Number: EJ995858
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2013-Jan
Pages: 30
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: 37
ISSN: ISSN-0895-9048
Access to College: A Reconsideration of the National Education Longitudinal Study (NELS)
Daun-Barnett, Nathan J.
Educational Policy, v27 n1 p3-32 Jan 2013
Student's access to college is influenced both by their level of academic preparation to do college-level work and the cost of participating in postsecondary education--on this point researchers and policy makers seem to agree (Perna, 2006). The relative importance of each, however, is very much a subject of disagreement and that debate has implications for policy formation, particularly when resources are scarce. In this article, I begin by summarizing the evolution of this debate from the late 1990s through today. Much of this conversation took place on the federal stage in anticipation of the reauthorization of the Higher Education Act (HEA). Next, I examine one particular report issued by the National Center for Education Statistics (NCES) and I respond empirically to several of the critiques levied by the education research community. In this reanalysis of the report on college access by Berkner and Chavez, I make several adjustments to illustrate how a number of methodological limitations affect the inferential claims in their report. My conclusions suggest that the definition of "college qualified" has important implications for these sorts of analyses and that the cost of college influences students' decisions to attend college both directly in terms of their perceived ability to attend college and through family income and the choices they make to prepare for college. Considering a fuller range of post-high school alternatives reveals important influences of race and class, which are masked by the focus on 4-year college attendance. (Contains 8 tables.)
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: Higher Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Laws, Policies, & Programs: Higher Education Act Amendments 1998