Student Responsiveness to Earnings Data in the College Scorecard

47 Pages Posted: 22 Apr 2016 Last revised: 21 Dec 2016

Michael Hurwitz

College Board

Jonathan Smith

Georgia State University

Date Written: December 2016


Using the universe of SAT score sends to colleges and the exact date on which these scores are sent, we estimate how students respond to release of the U.S. Department of Education’s College Scorecard in September 2015. We find that data on annual cost and graduation rate, both of which were previously available, did not impact the volume of score sends received by colleges. By contrast, we estimate that each 10 percent increase in reported earnings results in a 2.4 percent increase in score sends. The impact is driven almost entirely by well-resourced high schools and students.

Keywords: College Applications, School Accountability, Quality Disclosure, College Scorecard

Suggested Citation

Hurwitz, Michael and Smith, Jonathan, Student Responsiveness to Earnings Data in the College Scorecard (December 2016). Available at SSRN:

Michael Hurwitz

College Board ( email )

1919 M Street NW
Suite 300
Washington, DC 20036
United States

Jonathan Smith (Contact Author)

Georgia State University ( email )

United States

HOME PAGE: http://

Paper statistics

Abstract Views