Choi, Kate, Raley, Kelly, Muller, Chandra, & Riegle-Crumb, Catherine
Class Composition: Socioeconomic Characteristics of Coursemates and College Enrollment
University of Western Ontario
How a student's social climate in high school, influences the likelihood of enrolling a four-year college?
Journal Name or Institutional Affiliation:
Social Science Quarterly
Vol. 89, No. 4, pp. 846-866
- Taking courses with children of college-educated parents increases the likelihood of four-year college enrollment even after controlling for family background, achievement, and placement.
- Family background characteristics of coursemates may influence college enrollment because coursemates provide access to educational resources, such as information about college, and encourage students to apply to college by serving as a reference group.
- Schools are somewhat segregated by level of parents' education.
- Parent education has a positive association with college enrollment.
- Net of parent educational and course context, the only school characteristic that contributes to college enrollment is region. Those living in the West were substantially less likely to enroll in a 4-year college.
- The likelihood that a student will enroll in college increases as the % of coursemates with college-educated parents increases.
- Very little of the association between the characteristics of coursemates and college enrollment arises because of associated school-level characteristics.
- Students with higher GPA are more likely to take courses with the children of college-educated parents than students who perform less well.
- Findings imply that schools that segregate less by socioeconomic status will reduce the intergenerational transmission of educational disadvantage.
Journal Article Empirical Research
Classroom Composition, Climate, College, SES Composition
Secondary Survey Data
Method of Analysis:
10th and 11th graders
Unit of Analysis:
- Utilizes data from the National Longitudinal Study of Adolescent Health (AddHealth)and transcript data from the Adolescent Health and Academic Achievement (AHAA) study.
- Uses the 1994-1995 interview, cohort of 10th and 11th graders.
- Sample of 3,707 students.
- DV: Four-year college enrollment
- IV: Percentage of coursemates with college-educated parents, demographic backgrounds (race, family type, parent education, gender, nativity), school characteristics (school size, type of school, metropolitan school, region), early academic performance, academic performance, college expectations, characteristics of friends.