Chapter

Student Perceptions of College Opportunities: The Boston COACH Program

Christopher Avery and Thomas J. Kane

in College Choices

Published by University of Chicago Press

Published in print October 2004 | ISBN: 9780226355351
Published online February 2013 | e-ISBN: 9780226355375 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.7208/chicago/9780226355375.003.0009
Student Perceptions of College Opportunities: The Boston COACH Program

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This chapter presents evidence on student perceptions of the economic benefits of college and the college application and financial aid process. It assesses the likely effectiveness of several policy responses aimed at reducing the gap in educational attainment between high- and low-income youths. The first hypothesis asserts that low-income students are relatively unlikely to attend college because they simply do not believe that it is profitable: they overestimate tuition, underestimate financial aid opportunities, and/or underestimate the market differential in wages for college versus high school graduates. Students in the Boston public schools and in a comparison (affluent) suburban school tend to overestimate tuition, but they also tend to overestimate the wage benefits of going to college. The second hypothesis asserts that low-income students are discouraged by the complexity of the process of applying for financial aid and college admissions, even if they are qualified and enthusiastic about going to college.

Keywords: economic benefits; college application; financial aid; educational attainment; Boston COACH Program; public schools; tuition; low-income students

Chapter.  16444 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Higher and Further Education

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