November 2017

Please join MPES for a colloquium talk:

“Making College Work: Pathways to Success for Disadvantaged Students”

Sandy Baum
Senior Fellow
Urban Institute

Harry Holzer
John LaFarge Jr. SJ Professor of Public Policy
Georgetown University

Wednesday, November 1st
3:45-5pm
Annenberg 303

Watch the recording here!

Too many disadvantaged college students in America spend time and money on coursework without graduating or earning credentials, while others earn degrees or certificates that hold little labor market value. Many of these students also struggle to pay for college, and some incur debts they have difficulty repaying. Harry Holzer of Georgetown University and the Urban Institute’s Sandy Baum propose a range of policy solutions aimed at alleviating difficulties faced by too many of America’s college students, including weak academic preparation, financial pressures, and institutional failures that create barriers to success.

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Please join MPES for a colloquium talk:

“Academic Probation, Student Performance and Strategic Course Taking

Marcus Casey
Assistant Professor of Economics
University of Illinois at Chicago

Wednesday, November 29th
3:45-5pm
Annenberg 303

Watch the livestream or recording here!

We use a regression discontinuity design to study how academic probation affects outcomes and course- taking behaviors at a large public university in the US. Consistent with past work, students placed on probation improve their GPA in the subsequent semester. We document that part of this GPA improvement is attributable to strategic course-taking, and there is significant heterogeneity in these behaviors across race. Non-minority students placed on probation attempt fewer credits, easier courses, and are more likely to withdraw from courses in the following term. In contrast, underrepresented minorities exhibit few of these behaviors, consistent with past work that suggests black and Hispanic students are less likely to possess helpful institutional knowledge and use available support systems such as academic counseling.