Seminario CEDE - Tatiana Andrea Reyes
Many college admissions systems use a combination of GPA and standardized test scores to determine access to more selective programs. In this paper, I study the impacts of a 2013 reform in the Chilean admission system that sought to increase equity by introducing a third component, based on a student’s GPA relative to the historical average at their high school. Simulating the admission mechanism with and without the relative GPA boost, I classify applicants into three groups: (i) those who gained access to more selective programs (pulled-up), (ii) those who lost access to more selective programs (pushed-down), and (iii) those whose admission was unaffected. Applying the same procedure in earlier years, I identify the same groups, facilitating a difference-in-differences design to estimate the impacts of the 2013 reform on enrollment, persistence, and graduation. Pulled-up students were able to persist in their newly accessed programs, resulting in more selective degree attainment with no effect on overall BA completion. Pushed-down students, who tended to come from better-educated/higher-income families, experienced comparable-sized reductions in the probability of graduating from selective programs, offset by gains in graduation from less selective programs. I conclude that the reform improved equity with little or no loss in efficiency.