Modeling College Graduation GPA Considering Equity in Admissions: Evidence from the University of Puerto Rico

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Abstract

Over concerns about private school students’ advantages in standardized tests, beginning in 1995–96 the University of Puerto Rico (UPR) implemented a new admissions formula that reduced the weight they previously had in the General Admissions Index (GAI), on which its admissions decisions are based. This study seeks to determine the possible effects of the new GAI regarding both its objective of promoting equity in the student body composition and as a measure of academic aptitude capable of predicting student success. With these aims, the study compares the old and new GAI averages of 11 consecutive entering cohorts at the Bayamón campus of the UPR, and models the graduation GPA (GGPA) of 6 of these cohorts. Evidence shows that (a) the new GAI eliminated private school students’ advantage over those from public schools and reduced to a minimum the gap between genders; (b) female students obtain significantly higher GGPAs and exhibit other advantages when compared to males, while public and private school students’ academic outcomes are broadly similar; (c) the probability of accessing a determined boundary in the GGPA distribution is significantly and nonlinearly related to the GAI; (d) GGPAs exhibit an uptrend that varies inversely and significantly with the GAI, and (e) the probability of being in the lower bounds of the GGPA distribution increases to the extent that graduates exceed graduation required time.

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How to Cite
Matos-Diaz, H., & Garcia, D. (2014). Modeling College Graduation GPA Considering Equity in Admissions: Evidence from the University of Puerto Rico. Education Policy Analysis Archives, 22, 96. https://doi.org/10.14507/epaa.v22n96.2014
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Author Biographies

Horacio Matos-Diaz, Professor, Department of Business Administration University of Puerto Rico at Bayamón

Horacio Matos-Díaz (Ph.D. in Economics from Kansas State University, 2000) is a Professor of Economics and Statistics at the University of Puerto Rico at Bayamón, where he has taught and conducted research during the last 36 years. He is co-author (with Ramón J. Cao-García) of Educación universitaria y oportunidad económica en Puerto Rico (1988) and author of several articles on education economics issues published in journals such as Economics of Education Review, Education Economics, Eastern Economic Journal, Cogent Economics & Finance, Revista de Economía Institucional, Revista de Economía del Rosario, Revista de Administración Pública and Revista de Ciencias Sociales, for some of which he has also served as referee. 

Dwight Garcia, Professor, Department of Spanish University of Puerto Rico at Bayamón

Dr. García holds a Ph.D. in Hispanic Studies from the University of Puerto Rico. During the past three decades, he has served as area coordinator of the UPR-Bayamón Student Support Services Program, funded by the U.S. Department of Education TRIO Programs. He has published articles, presented papers, and conducted seminars and workshops on a wide variety of topics, ranging from issues in the fields of art and literature to linguistics and educational policies.