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  • Thumbnail for Peer Effects in the Classroom: The Impact of Classmate Abilities on Student Grades in Higher Education
    Peer Effects in the Classroom: The Impact of Classmate Abilities on Student Grades in Higher Education by Yeung, Alan

    Peer effects undoubtedly play an important role in educational attainment and development. We investigate the role of peer effects on classroom academic performance at an institution of higher education. We use data from a small private liberal arts college and measures of classmate ability levels to estimate a two stage selection model, and find that the proportion of high achievers in a class has a consistent significant negative impact on the grades of middle achieving students. Additionally, we find evidence of a significant positive impact on the grades of middle achieving students from the proportion of low achievers in a class. The effect of the proportion of high achievers on the grades of middle achievers is economically significant, whereas the effect of the proportion of low achievers is economically insignificant. Our results are limited by the size of the data set, and it is unclear how well these results generalize, as the current research on this subject is scarce.

  • Thumbnail for Brain Drain from Small City USA: Liberal Art School Students’ Relationship to Their Hometowns and their Aspirational Locations
    Brain Drain from Small City USA: Liberal Art School Students’ Relationship to Their Hometowns and their Aspirational Locations by Smith, Anna

    Research shows that educated, talented young people are moving in droves to big “superstar cities”—cities with high levels of innovation, diversity, and capital. College graduates must make a decision of where they will chose to live and pursue their careers. The research presented in this paper seeks to understand the relationship between college students’ attitude towards their hometown and their aspirational locations. Research was conducting through 11 in-depth interviews with current third and fourth year students at Colorado College. The key finding was that the liberal arts school experience was the biggest influencer in where the students see themselves living in the future.

  • Thumbnail for THE IMPACT OF INSTITUTIONAL SPENDING DECISIONS ON OUTCOMES FOR COLLEGES AND STUDENTS
    THE IMPACT OF INSTITUTIONAL SPENDING DECISIONS ON OUTCOMES FOR COLLEGES AND STUDENTS by Berardino, Justin

    This study was inspired by the recent trend in higher education of institutions undertaking massive spending projects. The purpose of this study was to evaluate how the breakdown of college spending affects educational and institutional outcomes. To perform this analysis spending was broken down into 5 categories: instructional, academic support, institutional, student support, and non-core expenses. Additionally, there were 3 other independent variables used to account for teacher quality, student quality, and learning atmosphere. 32 selective liberal arts colleges and their retention rates, graduation rates, acceptance rates, and admissions yields from the 2004 academic year were collected along with 8 total independent variables. Retention rates, graduation rates, acceptance rates, and admissions yields were the dependent variable in four different estimated models. Data and analysis comprised regression tests to determine the relationship between the eight independent variables and the four dependent variables. The regression tests revealed statistical significance for each of the four models estimated. However, only a few variables in each model were statistically significant at an individual level. Average SAT score of incoming students was the only statistically significant predictor of full-time retention rates. The regression for graduation rates possessed three statistically significant predictors: student-service expenditure, average salary of full-time instructional faculty, and student-faculty ratio. The estimated models for acceptance rate and admissions yield each had the same two statistically significant independent variables: average SAT score and average salary.