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Minority students may have different college application behaviors when they attend a high school with greater postsecondary expectations or with differential treatment of minorities relative to college expectations. Table 5 presents results when we examine whether gaps in application behavior are different at schools with a high fraction of Hispanic students versus a low fraction of Hispanic students, and schools with high college enrollment rates for graduates versus low rates. In each case, a high school is characterized as “high” for a given characteristic if it is in the top 20 percent of all high schools statewide and “low” if it is in the bottom 20 percent.20 Each specification includes controls for gender, age, race and ethnicity, demographics, college readiness, graduation year, and high school fixed effects.

Table 5.
Ordinary Least Squares Regression Results for Applying to College by High School Characteristics
Panel A: Any Four-Year UniversityPanel B: Flagship University or Better
% HispanicCollege Entrance Rate% HispanicCollege Entrance Rate
Top 20% (1)Bottom 20% (2)Top 20% (3)Bottom 20% (4)Top 20% (5)Bottom 20% (6)Top 20% (7)Bottom 20% (8)
Race and ethnicity  
Black 0.157* 0.114* 0.113* 0.049* 0.125* 0.084* 0.075* 0.038* 
 (0.016) (0.012) (0.008) (0.009) (0.015) (0.012) (0.007) (0.008) 
Hispanic −0.026* −0.049* −0.072* −0.017* −0.022* −0.049* −0.068* −0.015* 
 (0.009) (0.009) (0.006) (0.005) (0.009) (0.009) (0.006) (0.005) 
Asian 0.017 −0.040* −0.022* 0.007 0.017 −0.038* −0.022* 0.007 
 (0.023) (0.010) (0.006) (0.018) (0.022) (0.011) (0.007) (0.018) 
Other demographics  
Free or reduced-price lunch (FRPL) −0.040* −0.062* −0.072* −0.008* −0.039* −0.053* −0.066* −0.007* 
eligible (0.004) (0.006) (0.005) (0.004) (0.004) (0.005) (0.005) (0.004) 
Limited English proficient (LEP) −0.117* −0.159* −0.170* −0.021* −0.116* −0.164* −0.162* −0.022* 
 (0.009) (0.021) (0.011) (0.009) (0.009) (0.022) (0.011) (0.009) 
High school coursework (college readiness)  
No. of AP and IB semesters 0.021* 0.005* 0.007* 0.028* 0.022* 0.006* 0.007* 0.027* 
 (0.002) (0.002) (0.001) (0.005) (0.002) (0.002) (0.001) (0.005) 
Took AP English language arts 0.115* 0.144* 0.123* 0.015 0.113* 0.135* 0.123* 0.010 
 (0.009) (0.013) (0.007) (0.018) (0.009) (0.013) (0.007) (0.018) 
Took AP mathematics 0.062* 0.115* 0.095* 0.121* 0.062* 0.126* 0.102* 0.124* 
 (0.010) (0.010) (0.006) (0.032) (0.010) (0.011) (0.006) (0.033) 
Took AP science 0.040* 0.056* 0.037* 0.024 0.041* 0.053* 0.038* 0.019 
 (0.010) (0.013) (0.006) (0.031) (0.011) (0.012) (0.006) (0.031) 
Total semesters failed −0.015* −0.028* −0.032* −0.002* −0.015* −0.024* −0.029* −0.002* 
 (0.001) (0.001) (0.001) (0.000) (0.001) (0.002) (0.001) (0.000) 
High school exit exam (z-score)a 0.056* 0.078* 0.067* 0.015* 0.055* 0.073* 0.066* 0.014* 
 (0.002) (0.004) (0.002) (0.002) (0.002) (0.003) (0.002) (0.002) 
Number of observations 94,289 55,795 132,050 19,938 94,289 55,795 132,050 19,938 
Other controls  
High school fixed effects Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes 
Panel A: Any Four-Year UniversityPanel B: Flagship University or Better
% HispanicCollege Entrance Rate% HispanicCollege Entrance Rate
Top 20% (1)Bottom 20% (2)Top 20% (3)Bottom 20% (4)Top 20% (5)Bottom 20% (6)Top 20% (7)Bottom 20% (8)
Race and ethnicity  
Black 0.157* 0.114* 0.113* 0.049* 0.125* 0.084* 0.075* 0.038* 
 (0.016) (0.012) (0.008) (0.009) (0.015) (0.012) (0.007) (0.008) 
Hispanic −0.026* −0.049* −0.072* −0.017* −0.022* −0.049* −0.068* −0.015* 
 (0.009) (0.009) (0.006) (0.005) (0.009) (0.009) (0.006) (0.005) 
Asian 0.017 −0.040* −0.022* 0.007 0.017 −0.038* −0.022* 0.007 
 (0.023) (0.010) (0.006) (0.018) (0.022) (0.011) (0.007) (0.018) 
Other demographics  
Free or reduced-price lunch (FRPL) −0.040* −0.062* −0.072* −0.008* −0.039* −0.053* −0.066* −0.007* 
eligible (0.004) (0.006) (0.005) (0.004) (0.004) (0.005) (0.005) (0.004) 
Limited English proficient (LEP) −0.117* −0.159* −0.170* −0.021* −0.116* −0.164* −0.162* −0.022* 
 (0.009) (0.021) (0.011) (0.009) (0.009) (0.022) (0.011) (0.009) 
High school coursework (college readiness)  
No. of AP and IB semesters 0.021* 0.005* 0.007* 0.028* 0.022* 0.006* 0.007* 0.027* 
 (0.002) (0.002) (0.001) (0.005) (0.002) (0.002) (0.001) (0.005) 
Took AP English language arts 0.115* 0.144* 0.123* 0.015 0.113* 0.135* 0.123* 0.010 
 (0.009) (0.013) (0.007) (0.018) (0.009) (0.013) (0.007) (0.018) 
Took AP mathematics 0.062* 0.115* 0.095* 0.121* 0.062* 0.126* 0.102* 0.124* 
 (0.010) (0.010) (0.006) (0.032) (0.010) (0.011) (0.006) (0.033) 
Took AP science 0.040* 0.056* 0.037* 0.024 0.041* 0.053* 0.038* 0.019 
 (0.010) (0.013) (0.006) (0.031) (0.011) (0.012) (0.006) (0.031) 
Total semesters failed −0.015* −0.028* −0.032* −0.002* −0.015* −0.024* −0.029* −0.002* 
 (0.001) (0.001) (0.001) (0.000) (0.001) (0.002) (0.001) (0.000) 
High school exit exam (z-score)a 0.056* 0.078* 0.067* 0.015* 0.055* 0.073* 0.066* 0.014* 
 (0.002) (0.004) (0.002) (0.002) (0.002) (0.003) (0.002) (0.002) 
Number of observations 94,289 55,795 132,050 19,938 94,289 55,795 132,050 19,938 
Other controls  
High school fixed effects Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes 

Notes: Robust standard errors (shown in parentheses) are clustered at the high school level. Regressions also control for graduation year, gender, and age. Linear probability model regressions for high school graduates from 2008 and 2009. Panel A dependent variable is equal to one if the student applied to any Texas four-year university or enrolled at any four-year university within one year of graduation. Panel B dependent variable is equal to one if the student applied to a Texas flagship public university (UT Austin or Texas A&M), enrolled in a Texas flagship public university, or enrolled within one year of graduation at an elite four-year university that is ranked higher than UT Austin by Barron's. Enrollment data are available for all U.S. universities through the National Student Clearinghouse. Regression subsamples are based on characteristics of high school attended compared to statewide quintiles. Quintile cutoff values are 0.115 and 0.669 for percentage Hispanic (bottom 20% and top 20%, respectively); 0.086 and 0.366 for percentage of graduates from the high school who enrolled in a four-year college (bottom 20% and top 20%, respectively).

aHigh school exit exam scores are a composite z-score of both English language arts and mathematics. Advanced Placement (AP) mathematics include the following subjects: Calculus, Computer Science, and Statistics. AP science includes the following subjects: Biology, Chemistry, and Physics.

*Statistical significance at p < 0.05 level.

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