Efficacy Versus Equity Academic Article uri icon


  • © 2016, © 2016 AERA. We investigate the efficacy and equity of college admissions criteria by estimating the effect of multiple measures of college readiness on college performance in the context of race-blind automatic admissions policies. We take advantage of a unique institutional feature of the Texas higher education system to control for selection into admissions. We find that SAT/ACT scores, high school exit exams, and advanced coursework are all predictors of student success in college. However, when we simulate changes in college enrollment and outcomes with additional admissions criteria, we find that adding SAT/ACT or exit exam criteria to an existing rank-based admissions policy significantly decreases enrollment among minorities, low-income students, and students who attend low socioeconomic status high schools, with the most negative effects generated by the SAT/ACT, while inducing only minimal gains in college grade point average and 4-year graduation rates.

altmetric score

  • 178.85

author list (cited authors)

  • Black, S. E., Cortes, K. E., & Lincove, J. A.

citation count

  • 3

complete list of authors

  • Black, Sandra E||Cortes, Kalena E||Lincove, Jane Arnold

publication date

  • June 2016