December 17, 2018

Students opt for nonacademic aspects of college

A National Bureau of Economic Research study on Monday found that 4-year colleges spending more money on athletics or living facilities may be more likely to attract potential students, despite an institution’s educational investment.

This study is based on college spending patterns and student preferences in the classes of 1994 and 2002.

The study shows that only students who consider to enroll at highly competitive schools value high academic spending enough to influence schooling choices. The study concludes that the majority of 4-year universities will not see an increase in applications by investing more money into academics.

Scholars from the University of Michigan conducted the study.

“This is an important finding given that quality assurance is primarily provided by demand-side pressure,” according to the study.

“The fear of losing students is believed to compel colleges to provide high levels of academic quality. Our findings call this accountability mechanism into question. However, our findings do not speak to the normative issue of whether consumption amenities are good or bad for students and taxpayers.”

 

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