The Determinants of Mismatch Between Students and Colleges
Eleanor Wiske Dillon and Jeffrey Andrew Smith
NBER Working Paper No. 19286
We use the National Longitudinal Survey of Youth 1997 cohort to examine mismatch between student ability and college quality. Mismatch has implications for the design of state higher education systems and for student aid policy. The data indicate substantial amounts of both undermatch (high ability students at low quality colleges) and overmatch (low ability students at high quality colleges). Student application and enrollment decisions, rather than college admission decisions, drive most mismatch. Financial constraints, information, and the public college options facing each student all affect the probability of mismatch. More informed students attend higher quality colleges, even when doing so involves overmatching.
Addendum: Here is the write-up from the Chronicle of Higher Education. Note that the Chronicle treats the release of an NBER "working paper" as publication despite that absence of peer review (of the paper; the researcher has to be peer reviewed to get into NBER). Perhaps the NBER should rename their series to "Self-published papers by NBER affiliates".
Addendum: Here is the write-up from Insider Higher Ed, based on the author's interview with me.
Who was my favorite student this term?
8 months ago