Affiliation: College of Arts and Sciences, Department of Sociology
Does neighborhood disadvantage affect an individual's odds of matriculating at and graduating from college? Research on postsecondary outcomes tends to be non- experimental in nature and finds diminished neighborhood effects when compared to research on secondary outcomes. The limited experimental research focuses only on matriculation and yields contradictory findings. This research uses propensity score matching to account for neighborhood endogeneity and analyze the impact of residing in concentrated poverty during adolescence on college outcomes. The research also assesses institutional, collective socialization, relative deprivation, and epidemic models as mediators for neighborhood effects. Results suggest that concentrated poverty negatively impacts college outcomes, with the strongest effect on college graduation. The mechanisms by which neighborhoods affect collegiate outcomes differ over the life course. The strong, negative impact of neighborhood poverty on college graduation is explained by neighborhood economic opportunity, offering support for collective socialization theory.