Does Beauty Matter in Undergraduate Education?

49 Pages Posted: 29 Sep 2013

Multiple version iconThere are 2 versions of this paper

Date Written: August 15, 2013


Physically attractive individuals achieve greater success in terms of earnings and status than those who are less attractive. However, much about the mechanism behind this “beauty premium” remains unknown. We use a rich dataset to shed light on its nature at the college level. We find that students judged to be more attractive perform significantly worse on standardized tests but, conditional on test scores, are not evaluated more favorably at the point of admission. Controlling for test scores, more attractive students receive marginally better grades in some cases. Finally, there is substantial beauty-based sorting into areas of study and occupations.

Suggested Citation

Deryugina, Tatyana and Shurchkov, Olga, Does Beauty Matter in Undergraduate Education? (August 15, 2013). Available at SSRN: or

Tatyana Deryugina (Contact Author)

University of Illinois ( email )

1206 South Sixth Street
Champaign, IL 61820
United States


Olga Shurchkov

Wellesley College ( email )

106 Central St., PNE 417
Wellesley, MA 02481
United States

Register to save articles to
your library


Paper statistics

Abstract Views
PlumX Metrics