The Full Extent of Academic Under-Match

Posted: 23 Jul 2013

See all articles by Jonathan Smith

Jonathan Smith

Georgia State University

Matea Pender

Advocacy and Policy Center - College Board

Jessica Howell

Advocacy and Policy Center - College Board

Date Written: February 1, 2013

Abstract

This paper quantifies the extent of student-college “academic under-match,” which occurs when a student's academic credentials permit them access to a college or university that is more selective than the post-secondary alternative they actually choose. Using a nationally representative data-set, we find that 41 percent of students under-match in their post-secondary choice. We also find that academic under-match affects students with a range of academic credentials, but is more common among those students from low socioeconomic status families, who live in rural areas, and whose parents have no college degree. Finally, we show that between the 1992 and 2004 high school senior cohorts, academic under-match has decreased by nearly 20 percent. The decrease is partially due to students being more likely to apply to a matched college.

Keywords: educational economics, college choice, post-secondary education, mismatch, under-match

JEL Classification: I2, I23, I24

Suggested Citation

Smith, Jonathan and Pender, Matea and Howell, Jessica, The Full Extent of Academic Under-Match (February 1, 2013). Economics of Education Review, Vol. 32, February 2013. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2297015

Jonathan Smith (Contact Author)

Georgia State University ( email )

GA
United States

HOME PAGE: http://https://sites.google.com/site/jonathansmithphd/

Matea Pender

Advocacy and Policy Center - College Board ( email )

1233 20th St., NW
Suite 600
Washignton, DC 20036
United States

Jessica Howell

Advocacy and Policy Center - College Board ( email )

45 Columbus Avenue
New York, NY 10023
United States

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