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College Access


For millions of Americans, the pathway into higher education is indirect, complex, and inequitable. CHERP researchers examine how public policies influence who goes to college and how they get there. We are interested in using research to better create more equitable access to higher education, particularly to address longstanding inequities in college access by race and income.

Dual Enrollment

CHERP researchers studied dual and concurrent enrollment policies and practices (also known as dual credit) to assess how these policies help students prepare for college, transition to college, and succeed in college. We have partnered with states and institutions in Illinois, Indiana, and Arkansas and we have used national datasets to understand these policies and how they influence students equitable access to postsecondary education.

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Test-Flexible Admission Policies and Student Enrollment Demographics: Examining a Public Research University

A growing number of postsecondary institutions in the United States have removed standardized testing as a requirement for admission. Researchers, however, have suggested that these “test-optional” policies may not benefit underrepresented populations as intended, but instead serve as an additional revenue source for the institution. In this study, we utilize a synthetic control method to extend this research by considering whether a more nuanced “testflexible” policy, which allows qualifying students to decide whether to submit test scores instead of an institution-wide policy, influences student enrollment demographics at a public university.

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Last Updated: 5/8/23