Social class and the college choice process: How poverty shapes where even valedictorians attend
Radford, A. W. (2013). Social class and the college choice process: How poverty shapes where even valedictorians attend. In 2013 Annual Meeting of the American Educational Research Association (AERA), April 27 - May 1, 2013, San Francisco, CA,.
This presentation provides fresh insight on why high achieving students from socioeconomically disadvantaged backgrounds are underrepresented at America’s best universities by sharing findings from a new 5-state study, The High School Valedictorian Project I, which surveyed 900 valedictorians and interviewed a subset of 55 about their college-choice process. Findings indicate that SES differences in valedictorians’ representation at most selective private colleges can mainly be attributed to differences in application rates. Because valedictorians’ application decisions were largely determined by the preferences they developed and the conclusions they reached during the exploration phase, social class differences in the college characteristics considered and the types of colleges investigated are discussed.