The Effect of Policies Aimed at Improving College Going and College Readiness
Friday, November 4, 2016: 10:15 AM-11:45 AM
Columbia 4 (Washington Hilton)
*Names in bold indicate Presenter
The U.S. demand for college-educated workers and the returns to college have risen steadily over time. Yet barriers to college entry and success still exist for many students, leading to projected shortages in the college-educated labor force. This panel reports on the effect of four different policies on college-going interest and readiness, each aimed at different intervention points, with different research designs, and in different regions of the country. These papers are particularly interested in how college readiness policies affect low-income students. Using a regression discontinuity design and data from a county in North Carolina, the first paper estimates the effect of advanced math coursework offered to students in middle school on their college readiness and college-going plans four years later. The second paper provides the first experimental estimates on the effect of taking an Advanced Placement (AP) course on student outcomes. Specifically, paper two relies on data from schools across the country, serving primarily low-income students from historically underrepresented racial/ethnic groups, to estimate the effect access to and participation in AP science courses on students’ science skills and interest in pursuing a science-related major in college. The third paper examines the effect of California’s new readiness standards that are partially aimed at better preparing high school students for college level coursework. The fourth paper uses a randomized controlled trial to examine the effect of a college advising model on low-income high school students’ likelihood of applying to and enrolling in college. Combined, the papers in this panel will inform policy efforts aimed at increasing college enrollment and success.
Panel Organizers: Mark Long, University of Washington
Panel Chairs: Colin Chellman, City University of New York
Discussants: Rajeev Darolia, University of Kentucky and Kerstin Gentsch, City University of New York