NATIONAL BUREAU OF ECONOMIC RESEARCH
NATIONAL BUREAU OF ECONOMIC RESEARCH
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Max Gross

Department of Economics
University of Michigan

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Institutional Affiliation: University of Michigan

NBER Working Papers and Publications

October 2019The Effect of Course Shutouts on Community College Students: Evidence from Waitlist Cutoffs
with Silvia Robles, Robert W. Fairlie: w26376
One frequently cited yet understudied channel through which money matters for college students is course availability- colleges may respond to budgetary pressure by reducing course offerings. Open admissions policies, binding class size constraints, and heavy reliance on state funding may make this channel especially salient at community colleges, which enroll 47% of U.S. undergraduates in public colleges and 55% of underrepresented minority students. We use administrative course registration data from a large community college in California to test this mechanism. By exploiting discontinuities in course admissions created by waitlists, we find that students stuck on a waitlist and shut out of a course section were 25% more likely to take zero courses that term relative to a baseline of 10...
 
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