Participation in Higher Education: Equity and Access - Are Equity-Based Scholarships an Answer?

24 Pages Posted: 12 Sep 2007

See all articles by Buly A. Cardak

Buly A. Cardak

La Trobe University - School of Economics

Chris Ryan

University of Melbourne - Melbourne Institute: Applied Economic & Social Research

Date Written: August 2007

Abstract

We reanalyse data used by Le and Miller (2005), where it is found that students from low socioeconomic status (SES) backgrounds have lower university participation rates than those from higher SES backgrounds. We utilise the concept of eligibility to attend university - here defined by both possession of a valid ENTER score and the value of that score. We find participation among those with similar eligibility to attend university does not vary by SES. Conditional on their ENTER scores, students from poor family backgrounds are as likely to attend university as those from better-resourced families. Hence, we see little scope for equity-based tuition scholarships to rectify differences in participation between these groups. Instead, we find that possession and the quality of ENTER scores (eligibility) does rise with SES. Further analysis and policy targeting of the linkage between SES and ENTER scores is more likely to produce superior equity and access outcomes in higher education.

Keywords: university participation, credit constraints, SES based scholarships

JEL Classification: I210, I220, I280

Suggested Citation

Cardak, Buly and Ryan, Chris, Participation in Higher Education: Equity and Access - Are Equity-Based Scholarships an Answer? (August 2007). Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1013983 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.1013983

Buly Cardak (Contact Author)

La Trobe University - School of Economics ( email )

Bundoora
Bundoora, Victoria 3083 3086
Australia
+61 3 9479 3419 (Phone)
+61 3 9479 1654 (Fax)

Chris Ryan

University of Melbourne - Melbourne Institute: Applied Economic & Social Research ( email )

Level 5, FBE Building, 111 Barry Street
Parkville, Victoria 3010
Australia

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