Exempting Low-Income Students From Exam Fees Could Boost College Enrollment: Study

College enrollment rates would rise if fees for standardized college entrance examinations were waived for low-income students, says a study conducted by a University of Connecticut professor.

According to data collected by Joshua Hyman, professor of public policy and educational leadership at the university, for every 10 students from low-income families who took a college entrance exam before they were mandatory, an additional five students didn’t take the test but would score well enough to get into college if they did.

“This policy in a sense increased the supply of poor students who are taking these college entrance exams and scoring well by 50 percent,” Hyman said of his findings. “[That’s] a pretty surprising result — that there are a lot of disadvantaged students out there who would do well on these tests but just aren’t taking them.”

The study — “ACT for All: The Effect of Mandatory College Entrance Exams on Postsecondary Attainment and Choice” — is published in the journal Education Finance and Policy.

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