Changes in the Process of College Choice among Men and Women: The Role of Two-Year Colleges

  • Jennifer Flashman UCLA


Rising average levels of educational attainment, a shift from the predominance of men to the predominance of women among college students, and the growing importance of two-year colleges are important sources of change in the process of college attendance and graduation over the past 30 years. This paper extends previous models of college choice by (1) examining changes in selection into college on measured determinants of attendance and graduation over the high school classes of 1972, 1982, and 1992; (2) documenting how patterns and trends in selection into college differ between men and women; and (3) incorporating two-year college attendance and transfers between two and four year college into the model. It investigates the hypothesis that selection into college changed largely through changes in the prevalence of twoyear colleges and other non-traditional routes to college completion. Investigating these alternative paths illuminates gender differences in the process of college choice.


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