High School Options and Postsecondary Success
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Publisher:The Ohio State University
Series/Report no.:The Ohio State University. John Glenn School of Public Affairs Undergraduate Research Theses; 2014
There are several high school options in the United States, including traditional public schools, public charter schools, and secular and non-secular private schools. Studies analyzing K-12 educational outcomes indicate that these options vary in their college preparatory curriculums. But very few studies examine which high school option best prepares students for success in college, and those that do focus on high school completion, college enrollment, or first-year college performance. Using data from all in-state students who enrolled in one of the U.S.’s largest public universities from 2000 through 2008, this study is the first to compare the post-secondary educational performance of students by high school sector. Holding constant student academic ability, socio-economic background, and ethnicity, the results indicate that attending non-secular high schools—particularly, Catholic high schools—corresponds to greater post-secondary GPAs, a higher probability of graduation, and shorter college completion times. The benefits of attending Catholic schools are particularly pronounced for low-income and minority students. This information will assist policymakers, university administrators, parents, and students as they look to improve the post-secondary educational performance of U.S. students—particularly low-income and minority students.
Academic Major: Public Affairs
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