'Undermatched' students less likely to graduate on time compared to peers

May 17, 2018

BUFFALO, N.Y. -- "Undermatching" is a term to describe when high-performing students, typically from economically-disadvantaged households, attend less competitive colleges than their qualifications permit.

A new study concerning this widespread phenomenon in the U.S. finds that it correlates with another higher education dilemma: delayed graduation.

The study, presented by University at Buffalo researchers at the American Educational Research Association's annual meeting last month, shows that students who undermatch are less likely to graduate college within four or six years compared to peers who attend colleges that align with their qualifications.

After controlling for various components, such as gender and educational background, findings of the study include:"The results suggest policymakers and educators need to be concerned about college completion for even highly qualified students if they are undermatched," says study co-author Chungseo Kang, a postdoctoral associate in the UB Graduate School of Education. "To improve college completion rates for students, in particular for Hispanic students, it is important to encourage them to attend a college that matches their qualifications."

Reasons behind undermatching range from students being reluctant to take out student loans or lack of confidence that they could attend more competitive schools to insufficient access to information about the higher education landscape.

Co-author Darlene Garcia Torres, a PhD candidate in the UB Graduate School of Education says the study is important because it helps shed light on structural factors that may negatively impact minority groups' educational and socioeconomic advancement.

The study is unique for three reasons, she says. First, undermatching was measured and analyzed quantitatively (with propensity score matching). Second, they used a nationally representative sample. Lastly, they explored undermatching differences by race group.

Kang and Garcia Torres used the U.S. Department of Education and the Institute of Education Sciences' Educational Longitudinal Study to generate a sample of 4,970 students who enrolled in a four-year college within one year of high school graduation.
-end-


University at Buffalo

Related Education Articles from Brightsurf:

Applying artificial intelligence to science education
A new review published in the Journal of Research in Science Teaching highlights the potential of machine learning--a subset of artificial intelligence--in science education.

Dementia education
School-based dementia education could deliver much needed empathy and understanding for older generations as new research from the University of South Australia shows it can significantly improve dementia knowledge and awareness among younger generations.

How can education researchers support education and public health and institutions during COVID-19?
As education researchers' ongoing work is interrupted by school closures, what can they do to support education and public health institutions dealing with the Covid-19 pandemic?

Online education platforms could scale high-quality STEM education for universities
Online and blended (online and in-person) STEM instruction can produce the same learning outcomes for students as traditional, in-person classes at a fraction of the cost, finds research published today in Science Advances.

Technology in higher education: learning with it instead of from it
Technology has shifted the way that professors teach students in higher education.

The new racial disparity in special education
Racial disparity in special education is growing, and it's more complex than previously thought.

Education may be key to a healthier, wealthier US
A first-of-its-kind study estimate the economic value of education for better health and longevity.

How education may stave off cognitive decline
Prefrontal brain regions linked to higher educational attainment are characterized by increased expression of genes involved in neurotransmission and immunity, finds a study of healthy older adults published in JNeurosci.

Does more education stem political violence?
In a study released online today in Review of Educational Research, a peer-reviewed journal of the American Educational Research Association, three Norwegian researchers attempt to bring clarity to this question by undertaking the first systematic examination of quantitative research on this topic.

Individual education programs not being used as intended in special education
Gone are the days when students with disabilities were placed in a separate classroom, or even in a completely different part of the school.

Read More: Education News and Education Current Events
Brightsurf.com is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to Amazon.com.