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Kenneth Elpus
Arts Education Policy Review, 119(3), 111-123.
Publication year: 2016

The purpose of this study was to examine postsecondary admissions outcomes for music and arts students as compared to their non-arts peers using nationally representative data (N = 14,900) from the Education Longitudinal Study of 2002. Controlling for certain observable differences between students who do and do not elect arts courses, music students were more likely to apply to college and to attend college than their non-arts peers. Arts students were similar to non-arts students in terms of college selectivity and pursued science, technology, mathematics, and engineering majors at similar rates to non-arts students. This analysis suggests taking arts coursework in high school does not hinder successful college admissions outcomes as may be feared by well-intentioned guidance counselors or parents. Implications for college admission and local policies are considered.

Funding Statement
This analysis was supported in part by an award from the Research Grants in the Arts program of the National Endowment for the Arts: Grant #13-3800-7006.