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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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Information and Access: Modeling the Impact of Information on a Student's Probability of Attending College

Tim Zeidner, Vanderbilt University

Abstract: The purpose of this research is to determine the impact of informational help on a student's probability of attending college, conditioned on a student's academic and financial preparedness as well as a student's aspirations. Information about how much college costs and whether the student can afford college and information regarding how a student needs to be academically prepared to attend college arguably plays a role throughout the college decision-making process. Empirical research on the impact of information within the postsecondary access picture is minimal, partly due to the lack of data that either identifies information as a variable or that is able to be operationalized in a framework that is indicative of the postsecondary decision-making process. The importance of this research lies in using the best available longitudinal data (NELS: 88-94) to identify if the acquisition of information with regards to academic and financial aid preparation reveals a meaningful influence on the probability of a student accessing varying levels of postsecondary education. Furthermore, this research identifies some potential challenges using secondary data (namely issues of causality and dealing with potential endogeneity), and identifies possible techniques that may mitigate these concerns.