The college match indicator, originally developed by researchers at the UChicago Consortium, is a simple way to measure the extent to which students are struggling on the path to college enrollment.  This chapter describes the origins of the college match indicator and uses it as an example of how indicators can be used to shape practice.  The authors discuss the origins of the indicator, the role of Consortium research in its development, and related efforts in the Chicago Public Schools.  They also examine the role of indicator development more generally, and match specifically, as a critical mechanism for bridging research and practice.  Finally, they discuss three limitations of the college match indicator.

About the Book

Matching Students to Opportunity expands on the discussion of a critical issue in college access and success: the match between prospective students and the colleges in which they enroll. Research indicates that ensuring a good match significantly increases a student’s chance of graduating.
The contributors to this volume argue that the discussion of college match must be broadened to include students at all levels of achievement—not just the most academically qualified—and must take into consideration dimensions other than academic selectivity, such as geography and price. Drawing on original empirical research, they examine the preferences that shape students’ choices and assess their importance in ensuring students’ success. They look at institutional practices that contribute to the problem of undermatching, and ask how local, state, and federal policy can help change both the demand and supply sides of the college match equation.
Written with policy makers, researchers, and higher education professionals in mind, Matching Students to Opportunity advances the current conversation on college access, match, and completion, and offers a valuable addition to public policy discussions on this timely and urgent topic.