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Discussion: (2 comments)

  1. Um, is this a real problem? The most selective colleges are now more selective, sure, but aren’t most colleges still essentially nonselective? It’s not like high school schools aren’t getting into college somewhere.

    1. While it’s certainly true that many colleges aren’t the most selective and a significant number of students get in somewhere, there are still substantial consequences. All colleges have an incentive to improve their selectivity—trustees and alumni want to see their school rise in the rankings. For students, getting in somewhere is nice, but it feels less nice and more like a game when they have no sense of why they’ll get into any given school.

      A great read on this topic is an outlook written by Rick Hess and Taryn Hochleitner, both at AEI. They examine how the number of schools in the ‘top-tier’ has increased over time. If this trend continues, we’ll begin to see the consequences of a race for selectivity impact all tiers of selectivity.

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