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Study: University Rankings Influence Number and Competitiveness of Applicants

January 21, 2014 Comments off

Study: University Rankings Influence Number and Competitiveness of Applicants
Source: American Educational Research Association

How universities fare on reputational quality-of-life and academic rankings – such as those published by the Princeton Review or U.S. News & World Report – can have a measurable effect on the number of applications they – and their competitors – receive and on the academic competitiveness of the resulting freshman class, according to a new study.

The study, “True for Your School? How Changing Reputations Alter Demand for Selective U.S. Colleges,” by Randall Reback, associate professor at Barnard College of Columbia University, and Molly Alter, a research analyst for the Research Alliance for New York City Schools at New York University, will be published online this month in Educational Evaluation and Policy Analysis (EEPA), a peer-reviewed journal of the American Educational Research Association.

Reback and Alter studied the importance of quality of life and academic reputations by examining the often-criticized college rankings in the Princeton Review’s Best Colleges guidebooks and in U.S. News & World Report’s America’s Best Colleges series, along with comprehensive college-level data from the National Center for Education Statistics’ Integrated Postsecondary Education Data System.

“There is strong evidence that changes in colleges’ quality-of-life and academic reputations affect both the number of applications that colleges receive and the characteristics of their next incoming classes of students,” said Reback. “It raises important questions about the large role these arbitrary rankings can play in the college selection process.”

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Does Socioeconomic Diversity Make a Difference? Examining the Effects of Racial and Socioeconomic Diversity on the Campus Climate for Diversity

June 14, 2013 Comments off

Does Socioeconomic Diversity Make a Difference? Examining the Effects of Racial and Socioeconomic Diversity on the Campus Climate for Diversity (PDF)

Source: American Educational Research Journal

This article considers whether the socioeconomic diversity of the undergraduate student body and experiences with cross-class interaction (CCI) are significantly related to cross-racial interaction (CRI) and engagement with curricular/co-curricular diversity (CCD) activities. Individual students who reported higher levels of CCI had significantly higher levels of CRI and CCD. While the socioeconomic diversity of the student body had no direct effect on student involvement in CCD activities or CRI, it had an indirect effect on these activities via CCI. In other words, a socioeconomically diverse institution is associated with more frequent interactions across class lines, which is associated both with more frequent interactions across race and greater involvement in CCD activities. Findings indicate that both socioeconomic and racial diversity are essential to promoting a positive campus racial climate and that racial and socioeconomic diversity, while interrelated, are not interchangeable. Implications for the campus climate for diversity are discussed.

See: No good substitute for race in college admissions: Research (EurekAlert!)

Parsing Disciplinary Disproportionality: Contributions of Behavior, Student, and School Characteristics to Suspension and Expulsion

April 18, 2012 Comments off
Source:  American Educational Research Association

It has been widely documented that the characteristics of behavior, students, and schools all make a contribution to school discipline outcomes. The purpose of this study is to report on a multilevel examination of variables at these three levels to identify the relative contributions of type of behavior, student demographic variables, and school characteristics to rates of and racial disparities in out-of-school suspension and expulsion. Results indicated that variables at all three levels made a contribution to the odds of being suspended or expelled. Type of behavior and previous incidents at the behavioral level; race, gender and to a certain extent SES at the individual level; and school enrollment, percent Black enrollment, and principal perspectives on discipline at the school level all made a contribution to the probability of out-of-school suspension or expulsion. For racial disparities in discipline, however, school level variables, including principal perspective on discipline, appear to be stronger predictors of disproportionality in suspension and expulsion than either behavioral or individual characteristics.

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