Research in Higher Education

, Volume 54, Issue 4, pp 407–432 | Cite as

The Influence of Dual Enrollment on Academic Performance and College Readiness: Differences by Socioeconomic Status

  • Brian P. AnEmail author


I examine the influence of dual enrollment, a program that allows students to take college courses and earn college credits while in high school, on academic performance and college readiness. Advocates consider dual enrollment as a way to transition high school students into college, and they further claim that these programs benefit students from low socioeconomic status (SES). However, few researchers examine the impact of dual enrollment on academic performance and college readiness, in particular, whether SES differences exist in the impact of dual enrollment. Even fewer researchers consider the extent to which improved access to dual enrollment reduces SES gaps in academic performance and college readiness. I find that participation in dual enrollment increases first-year GPA and decreases the likelihood for remediation. I conduct sensitivity analysis and find that results are resilient to large unobserved confounders that could affect both selection to dual enrollment and the outcome. Moreover, I find that low-SES students benefit from dual enrollment as much as high-SES students. Finally, I find that differences in program participation account for little of the SES gap in GPA and remediation.


Dual enrollment Concurrent enrollment Accelerated programs SES gaps 



The research reported here was supported by the Institute of Education Sciences, U.S. Department of Education, through Award #R305B090009 to the University of Wisconsin-Madison. The opinions expressed are those of the author and do not represent views of the U.S. Department of Education. I am grateful to Adam Gamoran, Markus Gangl, Ted Gerber, Sara Goldrick-Rab, and two anonymous reviewers for helpful comments on earlier drafts.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2012

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.University of IowaIowa CityUSA

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