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Exploring Diversity in Graduate and Professional School Applications SES GRE

Holtzman, Steven; Minott, Tamara; Devasia, Nimmi; Kirova, Dessi; Klieger, David M.
Publication Year:
Report Number:
ETS Research Report
Document Type:
Page Count:
Subject/Key Words:
Diversity, Graduate School, College Applications, Admissions to Higher Education, Graduate Admissions, Graduate Record Examinations (GRE), Score Reports, Professional School Students, Gender, Race, Ethnicity, Socioeconomic Status (SES), College Majors, Geographic Location, Student Mobility, GRE Survey, Equity


Gathering a diverse student body is important for institutions of higher education (IHEs) at the graduate/professional level. However, it is impossible to select a diverse student body from a homogenous group of candidates. Thus the aim of this study is to discover the extent to which diversity goals in admissions are precluded by the lack of diversity in the applicant pool. To explore this, the proportion of score reports sent to the 150 largest graduate/professional schools and sent for each major was compared, from each gender, race, and socioeconomic status (SES) grouping, to proportions from the overall applicant pool of graduate/professional students. Additionally, differences in the distance graduate/professional school applicants are willing to consider traveling by gender, race/ethnicity, and SES were investigated. Results show that differences exist in the gender, race, and SES distributions for score reports sent to different schools and for different majors as well as in the distance an applicant is willing to consider traveling for graduate/professional school. The patterns found for gender, racial, and socioeconomic diversity provide possibilities for researchers to work further together with graduate/professional schools to tackle the important challenge of increasing diversity in graduate/professional education.

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