Alvaro Carril will be presenting in person/via Zoom.
Understanding universities preferences for students is a key input for successful design of higher education policies, yet there is little evidence of universities’ preferences for student characteristics. We exploit the introduction of student high school graduation ranking into Chile’s transparent higher education admission system to study how universities weight this new admission lever. We document a large degree of heterogeneity in graduation ranking weight across universities, which is negatively correlated with different measures of pre-treatment student body SES. We show that universities can significantly alter the distribution of characteristics of the marginally-admitted students, and we show that these characteristics play an important role in post-admittance outcomes.