Are all Colleges Equally Equalizing?: How Institutional Selectivity Impacts Socioeconomic Disparities in Graduates’ Labor Outcomes


The purpose of this study is to examine the extent to which the magnitude of disparities in the labor market outcomes of college graduates stemming from socioeconomic background varies according to institutional selectivity. The data used for the study are drawn from the National Center for Education Statistics’ Education Longitudinal Study of 2002, which followed a 2002 cohort of high school sophomores for ten years. The results suggest that socioeconomic background did impact the wages and earnings of students who earned their bachelor’s degree during this timeframe and that the magnitude of these disparities varies appreciably across institutional selectivity tiers.