Passed to Fail? Predicting the College Enrollment of GED® Passers

35 Pages Posted: 3 Sep 2016

See all articles by Rachael Rossi

Rachael Rossi

Niagara University

Corey Bower

State University of New York at Buffalo; Cullen Foundation

Date Written: June 2, 2016


Utilizing a dataset of over 900,000 enrollees in adult education programs in New York State between 2005 and 2013, we examine college-going of GED® passers. Upon enrollment, participants were asked whether they wanted to attend college after completion; almost 13,000 students both indicated a desire to attend college and subsequently passed the GED® Exam. Roughly half of these students reported attending college within 12 months. We use logistic regression to predict which students attended college based on a number of demographic variables and proximity to a community college. Counter to prior research, we find that none of these variables are practically significant predictors of college attendance. Students of different races who are and are not employed, receiving public assistance, single parents, and living close to a community college (among other factors) are virtually equally likely to attend college. We discuss other possible explanations and recommend that future research examine noncognitive and other factors.

Keywords: GED

Suggested Citation

Rossi, Rachael and Bower, Corey and Bower, Corey, Passed to Fail? Predicting the College Enrollment of GED® Passers (June 2, 2016). Available at SSRN: or

Rachael Rossi

Niagara University ( email )

Niagara University, NY 14109
United States

Corey Bower (Contact Author)

Cullen Foundation ( email )

250 Delaware Ave.
Suite 820
Buffalo, NY 14202
United States

HOME PAGE: http://

State University of New York at Buffalo ( email )

466 Baldy Hall
University at Buffalo
Buffalo, NY 14260
United States
7166451085 (Phone)


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