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2006Research Conference | June 15–16

This conference highlighted the work of invited speakers, independent researchers who have received grant funds from the Institute of Education Sciences, and trainees supported through predoctoral training grants and postdoctoral fellowships. The presentations are those of the authors and do not necessarily represent the views of the U.S. Department of Education or the Institute of Education Sciences.
Hyatt Regency Washington on Capitol Hill
400 New Jersey Avenue, N.W.
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Uniform Admissions Policies and Effects of Elite Schools

Benjamin Passty, Northwestern University

Abstract: This study examines whether elite schools have an impact on the development of students. Using data from Texas, I regress students' choice of major over their high school qualifications. Because of the Texas Ten Percent Law--which guarantees admission to any state school for those students in the top decile of their High School graduating class--I am able to carry out a regression discontinuity design. Although my model predicts that students will choose less demanding-and lucrative-majors at elite institutions, my results indicate that students are more likely to choose business majors at the top school, and less likely to major in Education, Nursing, and Social Work.