Home > Education, Microeconomics > “Borderline Unethical” Admission?

“Borderline Unethical” Admission?

The idea is that students get accepted to the best schools but not as freshmen: first they have to demonstrate ability at another university. Monica Inzer calls it “borderline unethical.” I guess that comes from the tacit agreement schools have not to poach another schools’ best students after they have started at another university.

It seems to me this is an excellent way to 1) reduce education costs, allowing students to finish a year or two at a lower cost college with a guarantee that they can attend and graduate from a better college, and 2) solve the problem of the best universities having to admit too many freshmen in order to overcome the effects of attrition.

Put another way, there’s an information asymmetry schools face when admitting students: they may know how smart they are but are trying to predict if they will finish. A student who doesn’t finish is a drain on resources that could have gone to another student who would have finished.

Adding an effective screen to reduce the information asymmetry would be a positive for students and schools. Students who are “finishers” will get slots that would’ve gone to “quitters.” Schools will graduate a higher proportion of the students they admit.

Categories: Education, Microeconomics
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