Giving Till it Helps? Alumnae Giving and Children’s College Options
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This paper examines whether donations to colleges and universities are partly motivated by the desire of alumni to increase their children’s admissions probabilities. The paper uses data from a single-sex college, so that only alums with a daughter would evince this motive. We find that alums with a teenage daughter, as opposed to a teenage son, are more likely to make donations of at least $5,000. The same relationship is not evident for smaller donations, or when children are older than 18. Further, we find evidence that this difference in the probability of a donation by alums with teenage daughters and teenage sons does not exist when acceptance rates are higher in an earlier period.
KeywordsAlumni giving Selective admissions Altruism Women’s college
We are grateful to Cameran Mason and Jennifer Desjarlais for helpful discussions about resources and admissions at private colleges. We thank seminar participants at Williams College and Wellesley College for their constructive comments on early drafts of this work.
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