Panel: Access and Pathways in Post-Secondary Schooling

Thursday, November 2, 2017: 10:15 AM-11:45 AM
Picasso (Hyatt Regency Chicago)

*Names in bold indicate Presenter

Panel Organizers:  Gregory Phelan, University of Texas, Dallas
Panel Chairs:  Mark Long, University of Washington
Discussants:  Lindsay Page, University of Pittsburgh and Jeffrey Schiman, Georgia Southern University

Transitions from Community College to Universities and Student Success
Gregory Phelan, University of Texas, Dallas

In this panel we explore the impact of policies that promote college access across different institutional settings. Consistent with the theme of the 2017 APPAM Fall conference, we leverage high quality sources of data in combination with quasi-experimental design to evaluate higher education policies in Texas and Tennessee. The first paper examines data from the Integrated Postsecondary Education Dataset using a difference-in-differences research design to evaluate the spillover effects of the Tennessee Promise program on enrollment and cost of attendance at non-eligible universities. Tennessee Promise provides last-dollar assistance to students pursuing two-year post-secondary degrees. The second paper uses administrative data from the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board and the Texas Workforce Commission to estimate the causal returns of transfers from community colleges to Texas A&M using a fuzzy regression discontinuity design. The third paper also employs a fuzzy regression discontinuity design, and Texas Administrative data to estimate the causal impact of the Coordinated Admissions Program to The University of Texas at Austin which was created in response to the enrollment pressures which arose following the passage of the Texas' Top Ten Percent Rule. Together, the papers in this panel explore benefits and potential pitfalls that students encounter as a result of the policies designed to improve student access to higher education in several settings. The chair, and discussants of this session have significant experience analyzing policies in higher education using state and national level data, which will ensure both specific feedback to the paper presenters as well as a fruitful, general discussion about access to higher education. 

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