New study on undergrad quality's effect on grad school





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Discus: College Search and Selection: August 2004 Archive: New study on undergrad quality's effect on grad school
By Anthony (Anthony) on Tuesday, August 17, 2004 - 10:35 pm: Edit

Since the doctoral universities vs. LACs thread went in this direction, I thought this study might be very interesting to some people.

A new study has been released studying the effect of undergraduate institutional quality/prestige on the quality of graduate school attended.

Controlling for undergraduate GPA, undergraduate major, race, gender, and various other demographic characteristics, undergraduate institution attended has a significant effect on graduate school enrollment.

All else held equal, graduates of high quality undergraduate institutions are 50% more likely to enroll in high quality research universities.

http://www.ilr.cornell.edu/cheri/wp/cheri_wp51.pdf

By Jonw222 (Jonw222) on Wednesday, August 18, 2004 - 12:58 am: Edit

I found the study interesting (I need to re-read it in much more depth to understand it fully.)

I needed to know what was meant by a "high quality" undergraduate institution. It's said in vague terms and isn't explained that well in the notes. I may be missing something because I'm reading it quickly.

By Palomino (Palomino) on Wednesday, August 18, 2004 - 09:20 am: Edit

Once this guy puts in his tables, we'll be able to see what he considers a "high quality" undergrad institution. He says he used the Barrons Guide rankings to determine high quality. That means that he considers LACs like AWS, Pomona, Middlebury, Haverford, Bowdoin, Colby, Bates, Carleton, Wesleyan, Wellesley, etc. (all of which are most competitive in Barrons) to be high quality.

By Alexandre (Alexandre) on Wednesday, August 18, 2004 - 09:32 am: Edit

I actually know the professor who is conducting this project. His name is Ron Ehrenberg. He was my professor of Labor Economics at Cornell. Smart guy. Really knows his stuff. I forget which schools he was looking at, but there were quite a few.

By Monydad (Monydad) on Wednesday, August 18, 2004 - 10:21 am: Edit

I'll look at this. Up to now, the study I've seen referenced that seemed most relevant to me is this one, which compared a pool of students who had actually been accepted to institutions of varying selectivity, but chose one or the other:

http://chronicle.com/free/v46/i19/19a05201.htm

If the students have actually been accepted at both places, then its more likely that all the intangibles relating to their potential have been better levelized at the outset. The outcomes then are more reasonably attributed to some effect of the colleges, rather than the different capabilities of the students in the first place.

By Familyguy24 (Familyguy24) on Wednesday, August 18, 2004 - 11:30 am: Edit

I don't really understand this study. It seemed that overall they said that if you attend a better undergraduate school, over like a public college that isn't so great, your more likely to attend graduate schools, and do better. Well isn't that obvious? The research doesn't prove that going to a top private school is better than going to a public schoool, it just says that if you attend a top private school, you are more likely to attend graduate school, which I think is obvious given the kind of student that are enrolled in those schools. They are the type of students who would seek out higher education, and will probably do better. The study doesn't say, that if those students were put in the public school instead of the top private school, they would not do as well, which would mean that the top private school is better. The debate is whether or not a capable student will do just as well in a private school as opposed to a public. Not whether people from the top schools do better than those from the not so top, because that is just obvious. On the whole, people from the top schools are probably more learned and have more drive to suceed then tthose from the not so top. What they should have compared is the acceptance rates of people applying to the same graduate school, but from different universities (top and bottom). If you could find people with similar high school statistics, but one having gone to a lesser school, and then them both applying to the same graduate school, or same caliber grad schools, then This would tell you if one allowed for a better opportunity than the other. Maybe I missed something though, read it very quickly.


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