Academic Undermatching of High-Achieving Minority Students: Evidence from Race-Neutral and Holistic Admissions Policies Conference Paper uri icon


  • College is a pathway to social mobility in the United States. Yet too often high-achieving students from low-income and minorities families fail to apply to selective postsecondary institutions. Our study examines the extent to which academic undermatching occurs among high-achieving minority students by analyzing the application choices of students who undergo two distinct admissions policies. We find that minority students eligible for automatic admissions and those who undergo holistic admissions are both less likely to apply to elite flagship universities than white students, despite being equally qualified based on high school performance. Instead, minorities often opt for lower tier universities.

published proceedings


altmetric score

  • 10

author list (cited authors)

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

citation count

  • 37

complete list of authors

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

publication date

  • January 2015