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To explore patterns of selection into the StudentU applicant pool, table 1 presents descriptive statistics for fifth grade students enrolled in traditional public and charter elementary schools in Durham County, North Carolina and matched, non-sibling StudentU applicants (N = 324; henceforth, I refer to these students as the “matched sample”). Column 1 reports summary statistics for all fifth-grade students in Durham County, while column 4 presents summary statistics for the subset of fifth-grade students who are economically disadvantaged. The subset of students who are economically disadvantaged approximates the population of students in Durham County who are eligible to apply for StudentU, although the approximation is imperfect due to the fact that StudentU requires applicants to be either free or reduced lunch-eligible and/or a first-generation college student not both.14 Column 7 presents summary statistics for the matched sample of StudentU applicants.15

Table 1.

Descriptive Statistics, Fifth-Grade Students in Durham County, 2011—12 to 2013—14

(1)(2)(3)(4)(5)(6)(7)(8)(9)
DurhamDPSCharterStudentUDiff.:Diff.:
DurhamDPSCharterEDEDEDApplicants(7)—(1)(7)—(4)
Female 0.495 0.494 0.496 0.493 0.492 0.505 0.583 0.089*** 0.090*** 
 (0.500) (0.500) (0.500) (0.500) (0.500) (0.501) (0.494) (0.028) (0.028) 
Black 0.500 0.499 0.512 0.578 0.559 0.792 0.478 −0.022 −0.099*** 
 (0.500) (0.500) (0.500) (0.494) (0.497) (0.407) (0.500) (0.028) (0.029) 
Hispanic 0.224 0.245 0.078 0.319 0.335 0.137 0.432 0.208*** 0.113*** 
 (0.417) (0.430) (0.268) (0.466) (0.472) (0.344) (0.496) (0.028) (0.028) 
White 0.211 0.190 0.354 0.059 0.061 0.037 0.025 −0.186*** −0.034*** 
 (0.408) (0.392) (0.478) (0.235) (0.239) (0.189) (0.155) (0.010) (0.009) 
Special Ed. 0.173 0.171 0.182 0.189 0.190 0.178 0.142 −0.031 −0.047** 
 (0.378) (0.377) (0.386) (0.392) (0.392) (0.383) (0.350) (0.020) (0.020) 
Gifted 0.237 0.264 0.053 0.149 0.162 0.007 0.207 −0.030 0.057** 
 (0.425) (0.441) (0.224) (0.357) (0.368) (0.083) (0.406) (0.023) (0.023) 
EL 0.118 0.129 0.037 0.167 0.176 0.065 0.167 0.049** −0.001 
 (0.322) (0.336) (0.190) (0.373) (0.381) (0.246) (0.373) (0.021) (0.021) 
Age 10.524 10.530 10.484 10.568 10.568 10.569 10.509 −0.016 −0.059** 
 (0.464) (0.464) (0.460) (0.490) (0.486) (0.528) (0.484) (0.027) (0.028) 
Econ. Disad. 0.625 0.659 0.393 1.000 1.000 1.000 0.833 0.208*** −0.167*** 
 (0.484) (0.474) (0.489) (0.000) (0.000) (0.000) (0.373) (0.021) (0.021) 
Charter 0.129 0.000 1.000 0.081 0.000 1.000 0.127 −0.002 0.045** 
 (0.335) (0.000) (0.000) (0.273) (0.000) (0.000) (0.333) (0.019) (0.019) 
Math Ach.a −0.224 −0.221 −0.244 −0.521 −0.501 −0.746 −0.192 0.032 0.330*** 
 (1.042) (1.048) (1.005) (0.927) (0.930) (0.866) (0.863) (0.050) (0.051) 
Reading Ach.b −0.241 −0.264 −0.090 −0.603 −0.601 −0.626 −0.338 −0.096* 0.266*** 
 (1.082) (1.083) (1.068) (0.966) (0.966) (0.965) (0.911) (0.053) (0.054) 
N 8,576 7,473 1,103 5,328 4,896 432 324   
(1)(2)(3)(4)(5)(6)(7)(8)(9)
DurhamDPSCharterStudentUDiff.:Diff.:
DurhamDPSCharterEDEDEDApplicants(7)—(1)(7)—(4)
Female 0.495 0.494 0.496 0.493 0.492 0.505 0.583 0.089*** 0.090*** 
 (0.500) (0.500) (0.500) (0.500) (0.500) (0.501) (0.494) (0.028) (0.028) 
Black 0.500 0.499 0.512 0.578 0.559 0.792 0.478 −0.022 −0.099*** 
 (0.500) (0.500) (0.500) (0.494) (0.497) (0.407) (0.500) (0.028) (0.029) 
Hispanic 0.224 0.245 0.078 0.319 0.335 0.137 0.432 0.208*** 0.113*** 
 (0.417) (0.430) (0.268) (0.466) (0.472) (0.344) (0.496) (0.028) (0.028) 
White 0.211 0.190 0.354 0.059 0.061 0.037 0.025 −0.186*** −0.034*** 
 (0.408) (0.392) (0.478) (0.235) (0.239) (0.189) (0.155) (0.010) (0.009) 
Special Ed. 0.173 0.171 0.182 0.189 0.190 0.178 0.142 −0.031 −0.047** 
 (0.378) (0.377) (0.386) (0.392) (0.392) (0.383) (0.350) (0.020) (0.020) 
Gifted 0.237 0.264 0.053 0.149 0.162 0.007 0.207 −0.030 0.057** 
 (0.425) (0.441) (0.224) (0.357) (0.368) (0.083) (0.406) (0.023) (0.023) 
EL 0.118 0.129 0.037 0.167 0.176 0.065 0.167 0.049** −0.001 
 (0.322) (0.336) (0.190) (0.373) (0.381) (0.246) (0.373) (0.021) (0.021) 
Age 10.524 10.530 10.484 10.568 10.568 10.569 10.509 −0.016 −0.059** 
 (0.464) (0.464) (0.460) (0.490) (0.486) (0.528) (0.484) (0.027) (0.028) 
Econ. Disad. 0.625 0.659 0.393 1.000 1.000 1.000 0.833 0.208*** −0.167*** 
 (0.484) (0.474) (0.489) (0.000) (0.000) (0.000) (0.373) (0.021) (0.021) 
Charter 0.129 0.000 1.000 0.081 0.000 1.000 0.127 −0.002 0.045** 
 (0.335) (0.000) (0.000) (0.273) (0.000) (0.000) (0.333) (0.019) (0.019) 
Math Ach.a −0.224 −0.221 −0.244 −0.521 −0.501 −0.746 −0.192 0.032 0.330*** 
 (1.042) (1.048) (1.005) (0.927) (0.930) (0.866) (0.863) (0.050) (0.051) 
Reading Ach.b −0.241 −0.264 −0.090 −0.603 −0.601 −0.626 −0.338 −0.096* 0.266*** 
 (1.082) (1.083) (1.068) (0.966) (0.966) (0.965) (0.911) (0.053) (0.054) 
N 8,576 7,473 1,103 5,328 4,896 432 324   

Notes: Columns 1—3 report means and standard deviations (in parentheses) for the variable listed in each row. Column 1 reports descriptive statistics for 5th-grade students in Durham, NC (Durham Public Schools and charter schools in Durham County) pooled across the 2011—12 to 2013—14 school years. Columns 2 and 3 partition 5th-grade students in Durham County into students in the Durham Public Schools (DPS) and students enrolled in charter schools in Durham County. Columns 4—6 present information for the same three groups as in columns 1—3 but restricted to the subsample of students who were economically disadvantaged. Column 7 reports descriptive statistics for StudentU Applicants who applied for admission in the spring semesters of 2012—14. Column 8 reports the difference in means and associated standard error (in parentheses) between

Columns 1 and 7. Column 9 reports the difference in means and associated standard error (in parentheses) between columns 4 and 7. Special Ed. = special education; EL = English learner; Econ. Disad. = economically disadvantaged; Ach. = achievement.

aN = 311 for math achievement.

bN = 310 for reading achievement.

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