A multi-level analysis of the extent of undermatch for Latino students and the influence of the high school context and organizational habitus on college choice




Dbouk, Youmna

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The phenomenon of undermatching is becoming more prevalent as higher education enrollment increases for all student groups, and especially for minority populations. There is a need to further understand how the high school context, specifically in its holistic organizational habitus, impacts students' college choices and their likelihood to academically undermatch at the time of enrollment. Using a hierarchical generalized linear model on a sample from the Education Longitudinal Study of 2002, this study examined the extent of undermatch for Latino students and other racial/ethnic groups, the impact of student level characteristics on undermatching, and the effect of the high school context and its organizational habitus on the likelihood to undermatch at enrollment, including physical aspects of the school environment and teacher-and administrator-related variables that have not yet been examined in relation to undermatching. The findings suggest that certain types of student-level capital have an influence on undermatching, as well as limited measures of the high school's organizational habitus, in terms of the teaching/learning environment and the college-going climate.


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College Choice, High School, Latino Students, Organizational Habitus, Undermatching



Educational Leadership and Policy Studies