Enrollment at Highly Selective Private Colleges: Who is Left Behind?

16 Pages Posted: 25 Jan 2010

See all articles by Hashem Dezhbakhsh

Hashem Dezhbakhsh

Emory University - Department of Economics

John A. Karikari

US Government Accountability Office (GAO)

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Abstract

This study examines the enrollment decisions of freshmen applicants to highly selective private colleges relative to highly selective public colleges. The empirical analysis shows that college enrollment varies by family income - in particular, low-income students with demonstrated financial need are less likely to enroll at private colleges, controlling for other factors including race and financial aid. Grant aid tends to have a moderating effect but the amount of aid under the existing college pricing and financial aid system appears to be inadequate. This finding provides support for recent revamping of financial aid offerings to low-income students by some highly selective private colleges. In addition, the results suggest that while family income appears to be a strong determinant of enrollment at these colleges, race does not seem to play a role.

JEL Classification: I21

Suggested Citation

Dezhbakhsh, Hashem and Karikari, John A., Enrollment at Highly Selective Private Colleges: Who is Left Behind?. Contemporary Economic Policy, Vol. 28, Issue 1, pp. 94-109, January 2010, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1540792 or http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/j.1465-7287.2009.00166.x

Hashem Dezhbakhsh (Contact Author)

Emory University - Department of Economics ( email )

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John A. Karikari

US Government Accountability Office (GAO) ( email )

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