Equity of Access to Higher Education: The “Class Rank” as a Mechanism of Inclusion in the Chilean Admission System

Daniel Casanova


In Chile, from the year 2013, “Class Rank” was introduced as a new factor of university selection in the Chilean admission system, which aim is to improve equity in access to higher university education. This policy has provoked diverse objections and the evaluation carried out has shown almost no impact in altering the inequity of access in general. However, this called diversity of Chilean higher education, is expected to have significant effect in the most selective programs, which have a more socially elitized group of students. This paper analyzes the results of the “Class Rank” mechanism in relation to its objectives, in a set of the highest selective majors. Based on the record of selected applicants from the years 2012 to 2014, an indicator of socioeconomic classification of each student was constructed. The aim of this indicator is to follow the changes in the social composition of the selected students in the most selective programs, before and after the introduction of the “Class Rank” in the admission process. It is concluded that there are no changes in the socioeconomic dimension, from the incorporation of “Class Rank” in the admissions process. At the same time a more open debate is proposed about the relation among the inclusion policies and selection methodologies at higher university level.


Equity in education; access to the higher education; university admission; educational inequality

DOI: https://doi.org/10.14507/epaa.v23.1908

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