Thursday, April 14, 2016
Curriculum maximization has very little effect on students’ probability of college admission
Selective colleges and universities purport to consider students’ achievement in the context of the academic opportunities available in their high schools. Thus, students who “maximize” their curricular opportunities should be more likely to gain admission.
Using nationally representative data, this study examines the effect of “maximizing the curriculum” on admission to selective colleges.
The authors find that curriculum maximization has very little effect on students’ probability of college admission outside of states with affirmative action bans. Low-income students are less likely to maximize their high school curriculum, and underrepresented racial minority students are both less likely to maximize their high school curriculum and less likely to benefit from doing so when applying to colleges in states that ban affirmative action.