Date of Award


Document Type


First Advisor

Humberto Barreto

Second Advisor

Rebecca Bordt

Third Advisor

Ted Bitner


This thesis explores factors explaining why so many high-achieving, low-income students apply to and enroll at universities with relatively low academic standards, despite generous financial aid packages and evidence that these students would be successful at colleges that are more selective. Amazon's Mechanical Turk was used to gather data and a probit analysis confirms an established result that low-income students are more likely to undermatch. The primary contribution of this work is the result that as the distance between a student's home and the university they attend increases, the probability that the student will undermatch decreases. The decrease in likelihood of undermatching from attending college an additional 500 miles from home ranges from 5 to 12 percentage points. Additionally, this study finds that as distance increases, the effect of income on the probability of undermatching decreases.


Honor Scholar Thesis