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Beyond Admissions: Re-thinking College Opportunities and Outcomes

Beyond Admissions: Re-thinking College Opportunities and Outcomes

First Edition
Edited by:

February 2010 | 228 pages | SAGE Publications, Inc

The recent nomination and confirmation of Sonia Sotomayor as a U.S. Supreme Court Justice refocused public attention on the selection criteria that colleges and universities use to admit students. For decades the Supreme Court has repeatedly been asked to decide the constitutionality of racial and ethnic preferences in college admissions.

However, this preoccupation with admissions neglects other important considerations in achieving campus diversity and narrowing gaps in educational attainment. What circumstances motivate students to attend and succeed in college? What factors influence individual students' decisions whether to apply and, if admitted, whether to enroll.

Based on administrative data from the Texas Higher Education Opportunity Project (THEOP), recent studies have revealed these key insights:

· The high schools that students attend are highly decisive for predicting which students pursue postsecondary education.
· Application behavior (rather than admissions criteria) holds the key to diversification of college campuses along socioeconomic, geographic, and demographic lines.
· Campus diversity is an interim goal for the broader vision of opening the pathways to leadership.

The compelling articles in this volume of The ANNALS go beyond the worn argument that admission criteria are solely responsible for determining campus diversity. The authors address a broad range of questions in college decision making – from application to enrollment, college performance, and graduation.

The first section of this volume reviews the precursors to college attendance as the first step to campus diversification. The authors discuss the importance of a college habitus. Articles also focus on the strong association between the ethno-racial composition of high schools and first-college preference.

Along with key articles on narrowing the gender and ethnic gaps in specific fields of study, academic performance, and graduation rates, this volume also includes an analysis of the consequences of Texas's Top Ten Percent Law guaranteeing admission to any Texas public university for high school seniors who graduated in the top decile of their high school class.

This forward-looking volume of The ANNALS is a requisite for students and scholars who want to examine alternatives that narrow ethnic gaps throughout the postsecondary cycle and provide more opportunities for talented, ambitious youth from disadvantaged environments to succeed, as Justice Sotomayor did.

Mark C. Long and Marta Tienda
Introduction: Beyond Admissions: Re-thinking College Opportunities and Outcomes
Eric Grodsky and Catherine Riegle-Crumb
Those Who Choose and Those Who Don't: Social Background and College Orientation
Donnell Butler
Ethno-racial Composition and College Preference: Revisiting the Perpetuation of Segregation Hypothesis
Angel Harris and Marta Tienda
Minority Higher Education Pipeline: Consequences of Changes in College Admissions Policy in Texas
Mark C. Long, Victor Saenz, and Marta Tienda
Policy Transparency and College Enrollment: Did the Texas Top 10 Percent Law Broaden Access to the Public Flagships?
Lisa Dickson
Race and Gender Differences in College Major Choice
Milagros Nores
Differences in College Major Choice by Citizenship Status
Jason Fletcher and Marta Tienda
Race and Ethnic Differences in College Achievement: Does High School Attended Matter?
Eric Furstenberg
Academic Outcomes and Texas's Top 10 Percent Law
Dylan Conger and Mark C. Long
Why Are Men Falling Behind? Gender Gaps in College Performance and Persistence
Bridget Terry Long
Beyond Admissions: Reflections and Future Considerations

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ISBN: 9781412986861