Those Who Choose and Those Who Don’t: Social Background and College Orientation

  title={Those Who Choose and Those Who Don’t: Social Background and College Orientation},
  author={Eric Grodsky and Catherine Riegle-Crumb},
  journal={The ANNALS of the American Academy of Political and Social Science},
  pages={14 - 35}
Empirical research on the decision to attend college is predicated largely on the assumption that students make conscious, utility-maximizing decisions about their educational careers. For many students this may not be the case; in fact, the authors find that a large share of students assume from a young age that they will attend college, exhibiting what might be called a college-going habitus. Consistent with critical arguments about how social class is reproduced, the authors find that white… Expand

Tables from this paper

College-bound friends and college application choices: Heterogeneous effects for Latino and White students.
Findings suggest that college-choice models should more directly account for the influence of friends in applying to college, taking account of racial and ethnic differences, and future research should explore why Latino students benefit less. Expand
All Talk and No Action? Racial Differences in College Behaviors and Attendance
According to the influential “oppositional culture” account, we should expect black students as a group to be less likely to engage in school than their white counterparts because they are moreExpand
Social Class and Habitus at the End of College: Cultural Similarity and Difference among Graduating Seniors
ABSTRACT Existing research offers a range of perspectives on the impact of the college experience on culture. While some scholars claim that higher education leads to cultural convergence orExpand
How High School Contexts Shape the College Choices of High-Achieving, Low-Ses Students: Why a “College-Going” Culture is Not Enough
While many studies of college choice have focused on whether high schools have a general “college-going culture,” this dissertation considers the specific nature of college preparation and supportExpand
Family Socioeconomic Status, Peers, and The Pathto College.
Investigating connections between high school students' trajectories through college preparatory coursework and their relationships with parents and peers as a channel in the intergenerational transmission of socioeconomic inequality revealed that having college-educated parents differentiated students' enrollment in advanced coursework at the start of high school and that this initial disparity was stably maintained over subsequent years. Expand
Family Legacy or Family Pioneer? Social Class Differences in the Way Adolescents Construct College-Going
In an era of heightened educational expectations, it can be difficult to discern why would-be first-generation college-going adolescents are less likely to enroll in college than non-first generationExpand
College Match and Undermatch: Assessing Student Preferences, College Proximity, and Inequality in Post-College Outcomes
Recently, multiple studies have focused on the phenomenon of “undermatching”—when students attend a college for which they are overqualified, as measured by test scores and grades. The extantExpand
More Than “Getting Us Through:” A Case Study in Cultural Capital Enrichment of Underrepresented Minority Undergraduates
A case study of a university-sponsored intervention program for minority science majors that addresses not only academics, but also socialization into the academic community, networking, and the ability to practice newfound skills and dispositions through undergraduate research is presented. Expand
No place like home? Familism and Latino/a-white differences in college pathways.
Results indicate generational differences; cultural factors may contribute to racial/ethnic gaps in parental preferences for children to remain at home. Expand
“In Today’s Society, It’s a Necessity”
Latino/a enrollments at U.S. colleges are rapidly increasing. However, Latinos/as remain underrepresented at four-year universities, and college completion rates and household earnings lag otherExpand


Social origin and college opportunity expectations across cohorts
Abstract This study describes the trends in the effects of social origin on the college opportunity expectations of three cohorts of high school seniors (1972, 1982, and 1992). We use the type andExpand
College for some to college for all: social background, occupational expectations, and educational expectations over time.
  • K. Goyette
  • Psychology, Medicine
  • Social science research
  • 2008
The declining importance of parents' background and the decoupling of educational and occupational plans, in addition to a strong and significant effect of cohort on educational expectations, suggest that the expectation of four-year college attainment is indeed becoming the norm. Expand
The Homecoming of American College Women: The Reversal of the College Gender Gap
Women are currently the majority of U.S. college students and of those receiving a bachelor%u2019s degree, but were 39 percent of undergraduates in 1960. We use three longitudinal data sets of highExpand
The student financial aid programs that were authorized under Title IV of the Higher Education Act were intended to ensure that inadequate financial resources would not limit access to college.Expand
Academic and Nonacademic Influences on the College Destinations of 1980 High School Graduates.
Social scientists and policymakers have long been interested in equality of opportunity to pursue postsecondary education. This research focused on one aspect of that issue, the relationships betweenExpand
Compensatory Sponsorship in Higher Education1
The author evaluates the extent to which colleges and universities of varying degrees of selectivity engage in racial, ethnic, and socioeconomic affirmative action for cohorts of students whoExpand
Better Late Than Never? Delayed Enrollment in the High School to College Transition
It is found that students who delay postsecondary enrollment have lower odds of bachelor degree completion and that delayers are more likely than on-time enrollees to attend less than four-year institutions and to transition to other roles such as spouses or parents before entering college. Expand
The Relative Roles of Academic, Ascribed, and Socioeconomic Characteristics in College Destinations.
A multiple regression analysis using a large, natianally representative sample of college freshmen of 1975 suggests that educationally relevant factors have greater power in explaining the nature ofExpand
The Growing Female Advantage in College Completion: The Role of Family Background and Academic Achievement
In a few short decades, the gender gap in college completion has reversed from favoring men to favoring women. This study, which is the first to assess broadly the causes of the growing femaleExpand
This paper summarizes a qualitative study of family-school relationships in white working-class and middle-class communities. The results indicate that schools have standardized views of the properExpand