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Minding the gap: academic outcomes from pre-college programs

Phoebe Kotlikoff, Ahmed Rahman () and Katherine A. Smith

Education Economics, 2022, vol. 30, issue 1, 3-28

Abstract: This paper analyzes the effects of assignment to a one-year college preparatory program on academic performance in college. We use a large dataset of United States Naval Academy students from the 1988 to 2018 graduating classes, of which a little over 22% received remediation. Exploiting the Academy's unique admissions criteria, we instrument for pre-college treatment using the number and quality of other applicants originating from the same Congressional district. We find that these pre-college programs promote significant but short-lived improvements in academic grades. They also can encourage students to choose STEM-oriented majors, and promote retention by lowering voluntary exits.

Date: 2022
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DOI: 10.1080/09645292.2021.1931664

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