Abstract

http://ssrn.com/abstract=1494072
 
 

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The Early Decision Option in College Admission and its Impact on Student Diversity


Heather Antecol


Claremont Colleges - Robert Day School of Economics and Finance; Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA)

Janet Kiholm Smith


Claremont McKenna College - Robert Day School of Economics and Finance

May 4, 2011

Claremont McKenna College Robert Day School of Economics and Finance Research Paper No. 2009-19

Abstract:     
Many schools rely on early decision (ED) as an admission practice. Schools that adopt ED are able to generate additional resources by attracting wealthier students who, upon admission, make binding commitments to attend and to forego shopping for competing aid offers. An unanswered question is whether the resources generated from this price discrimination practice are used by schools during the regular admission process to attract more diverse students. We document the admission practices for private national universities and liberal arts colleges. We model the choice to adopt an ED program and its impact on student racial and geographic diversity. We find that schools that face more competition for students are more likely to adopt ED. While, in theory, it is possible for ED to enable greater diversity over some range of early enrollment percentages, we find that the overall heterogeneity of the students is lower for schools that adopt ED and that heterogeneity falls monotonically as the schools enroll larger percentages of their students through ED. Higher ED enrollment percentages appear to strongly and negatively affect Asian American and Hispanic students and positively affect white students

Number of Pages in PDF File: 40

Keywords: College admission, student diversity, early decision, antitrust

JEL Classification: I2, J7, L3

working papers series


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Date posted: October 26, 2009 ; Last revised: May 16, 2011

Suggested Citation

Antecol, Heather and Smith, Janet Kiholm, The Early Decision Option in College Admission and its Impact on Student Diversity (May 4, 2011). Claremont McKenna College Robert Day School of Economics and Finance Research Paper No. 2009-19. Available at SSRN: http://ssrn.com/abstract=1494072 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.1494072

Contact Information

Heather Antecol (Contact Author)
Claremont Colleges - Robert Day School of Economics and Finance ( email )
500 E. Ninth Street
Claremont, CA 91711
United States
Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA)
P.O. Box 7240
Bonn, D-53072
Germany
Janet Kiholm Smith
Claremont McKenna College - Robert Day School of Economics and Finance ( email )
500 E. Ninth St.
Claremont, CA 91711-6420
United States
909-607-3276 (Phone)
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