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How Can We Replicate the Positive Effects of Siblings on College Choices?

A recent study by Joshua Goodman, Michael Hurwitz, Jonathan Smith, and Julia Fox explores the relationship between siblings’ college choices. Using data from 1.6 million pairs of siblings who took the SAT between 2004 and 2011 they find that 31% of younger siblings apply to and 19% enroll in the same college as their older sibling. They also find that younger siblings are 16 percentage points more likely than their high school peers to enroll in four-year colleges if their older siblings do so first, and 19 percentage points more likely to enroll in highly competitive colleges if their older…


How is Income Related to the Community College to Bachelor’s Degree Pathway?

Last week, we explored what the data behind “The Effects of Rising Student Costs in Higher Education: Evidence from Public Institutions in Virginia” tell us about degree-attainment rates at community colleges. We noted that eight years after students started at a community college, only 20% of those on track to earn a bachelor’s degree had earned one, and only 14% of students in the lowest income quintile had earned one. (See the blog post from May 7, 2014 for a full description of these results and the sample of students they were based on.) Based on a comment to the…


Community College as a Pathway to a Bachelor's Degree
What the Numbers Say

Community colleges serve an important role in educating people from a variety of backgrounds and providing affordable access to higher education for people with a variety of educational goals. In recent years the missions of community colleges have grown, as has the number of students attending these institutions. Many community colleges serve some or all of their missions very well; others less so.  All operate with very limited resources. One important role of community colleges is to prepare students to transfer to a four-year institution in order to earn a bachelor’s degree. In the past few months there has been…