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Table 3 presents the application decisions by race and ethnicity for our graduation cohorts. Row 1 presents statistics for the sample observed in the Texas public university application sample, and row 2 then presents similar statistics when we augment the sample with the NSC enrollment data. For four-year public universities in Texas, black and white application rates were similar, at 35 percent for black and 36 percent for white students, and the Asian student application rate was substantially higher at 52 percent. Hispanic students, who make up the second largest group of graduates, have a much lower application rate at only 27 percent. The adjustment resulting from incorporating the NSC data is relatively small; the gaps are largest for white and Asian students, with 9 percent of Asian students and 7 percent of white students appearing as enrolled in the NSC without applying to any four-year public university in Texas. The gaps are smaller for black and Hispanic students at only 4 and 3 percent, respectively.

Table 3.
Summary Statistics by Four-Year College Application Rates for Texas High School Graduates
Black (1)Hispanic (2)Asian (3)White (4)
Applied to any college 0.351 0.267 0.524 0.364 
Applied to any college or enrolled 0.393 0.295 0.613 0.434 
Applied to flagship 0.050 0.054 0.295 0.141 
Applied to flagship or enrolled at higher-ranked campus 0.053 0.056 0.326 0.147 
Applied to an open enrollment (nonselective) campus 0.154 0.024 0.032 0.052 
Applied only to flagship 0.016 0.017 0.144 0.076 
Applied only to open enrollment campus 0.077 0.010 0.011 0.029 
Applied to multiple campuses 0.183 0.110 0.304 0.174 
Applied to a high-SAT campus 0.094 0.079 0.365 0.204 
Applied to a low-SAT campus 0.159 0.077 0.047 0.046 
Number of graduates 67,215 188,835 19,405 213,486 
Percent of graduates 0.14 0.38 0.04 0.44 
Black (1)Hispanic (2)Asian (3)White (4)
Applied to any college 0.351 0.267 0.524 0.364 
Applied to any college or enrolled 0.393 0.295 0.613 0.434 
Applied to flagship 0.050 0.054 0.295 0.141 
Applied to flagship or enrolled at higher-ranked campus 0.053 0.056 0.326 0.147 
Applied to an open enrollment (nonselective) campus 0.154 0.024 0.032 0.052 
Applied only to flagship 0.016 0.017 0.144 0.076 
Applied only to open enrollment campus 0.077 0.010 0.011 0.029 
Applied to multiple campuses 0.183 0.110 0.304 0.174 
Applied to a high-SAT campus 0.094 0.079 0.365 0.204 
Applied to a low-SAT campus 0.159 0.077 0.047 0.046 
Number of graduates 67,215 188,835 19,405 213,486 
Percent of graduates 0.14 0.38 0.04 0.44 

Notes: Includes all Texas high school graduates from 2008 and 2009. Application data are available for students who applied to Texas public universities. Additional enrollment data are available for all U.S. universities through the National Student Clearinghouse (NSC). A high-SAT campus is defined as one in the top quartile in the state in terms of median SAT score, and a low-SAT campus is in the bottom quartile in the state in terms of median SAT score.

Sources: Authors’ calculations from Texas Workforce Data Quality Initiative Database, graduating student cohorts from spring 2008 and 2009. NSC data from the 2008—09 and 2009—10 academic years. Schools ranked higher than Texas flagships universities were identified from the 2008 U.S. News & World Reports U.S. college rankings.

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