Indiana University SPEA Edward J. Bloustein School of Planning and Public Policy University of Pennsylvania AIR American University

Panel Paper: Every Little Bit Counts: The Impact of High-Speed Internet on the Transition to College

Saturday, November 14, 2015 : 9:30 AM
Flamingo (Hyatt Regency Miami)

*Names in bold indicate Presenter

Jonathan Smith1, Lisa Dettling2 and Sarena F Goodman2, (1)The College Board, (2)Federal Reserve - Board of Governors
This paper investigates the impact of high-speed Internet on students’ college application decisions. Using data on millions of PSAT and SAT takers between 2001 and 2008, we estimate the impact of zip code-year-level broadband Internet access on various aspects of student’s college applications and enrollment.  Exploiting within zip code variation in the roll out of broadband access, we find that students with access to high-speed Internet apply to more colleges, more selective colleges, better academically matched colleges, and more geographically distant colleges. Consistent with previous literature which has found that low-income students have fewer in-roads to elite institutions, we find broadband exerts greater effects on students in lower-income areas.