This paper provides the first experimental evidence of how admission outcomes in centralized systems depend on strategic college choice behaviors. Centralized college admissions simplify the application process and reduce students' informational barriers. However, such systems also reward informed and strategic college choices. In particular, centralized admissions can be difficult to navigate because they require students to understand how application portfolios and placement priorities map to admission probabilities. Using administrative data from one of the poorest provinces in China, I document that students made undermatched college choices that correlated with inaccurate predictions of admission probabilities. I then implemented a large-scale randomized experiment (N= 32,834) to provide treated students with either (a) an application guidebook or (b) a guidebook plus a school workshop. Results suggest that informing students on choosing colleges and majors based on precise predictions of admission probabilities can effectively improve student–college academic match by 0.1 to 0.2 standard deviation among compliers without substantially changing their college-major preferences.

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