Assessing Admission Criteria for Early and Mid-Career Students: Evidence from a U.S. MPA Program

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Abstract

As applications for graduate and professional degree programs have reached unprecedented levels over the past decade, the applicant pool has become more diverse with more mid-career students deciding to return to school. Given the growth and diversification of the graduate applicant pool, many graduate programs are struggling to develop stronger admission package criteria that assure students admitted to their program have the pre-requisite skills needed to succeed. We examine which commonly used graduate admission criteria, particularly the Graduate Record Exam (GRE), correlate with the academic performance of both early and mid-career professional students. Using data from student files from a southeastern U.S. graduate public administration program, we find that the GRE score, undergraduate grade point average, and type of undergraduate institution are good predictors of graduate performance, but that the value of these admission criteria differs for early and mid- career students.

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How to Cite
Darolia, R., Potochnick, S., & Menifield, C. E. (2014). Assessing Admission Criteria for Early and Mid-Career Students: Evidence from a U.S. MPA Program. Education Policy Analysis Archives, 22, 101. https://doi.org/10.14507/epaa.v22.1599
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Author Biographies

Rajeev Darolia, University of Missouri

Rajeev Darolia is an Assistant Professor in the Truman School of Public Affairs and College of Education at the University of Missouri. He studies education policy, with a particular interest in how individuals finance human capital investments.

Stephanie Potochnick, University of Missouri

Stephanie Potochnick is an Assistant Professor in the Truman School of Public Affairs and public health program at the University of Missouri. Her research examines the social demography of immigration and how programs and policies can promote the education and health of immigrant youth. 

Charles E. Menifield, University of Missouri

Charles E. Menifield is a Professor and Associate Dean in the Truman School of Public Affairs at the University of Missouri-Columbia. He publishes in the areas of budgeting and financial management and health care.