Creating Borders to Opportunity From Historic Inequity: Investigating Geodemographic Filters in Student List Products
Karina Salazar

About the research


NAEd/Spencer Postdoctoral Fellowship

Award Year



University of Arizona

Primary Discipline

Colleges identify prospective students by purchasing ?student lists? from the College Board and other vendors. Student lists contain the contact information of prospective students who satisfy ?search filter? criteria (e.g., test score range, high school GPA, zip code) specified by colleges, which are the central input to admissions recruiting campaigns that have substantial effects on college access for millions of students each year. Using secondary data, this project recreates proprietary geodemographic student list filters that develop new geographical borders based on historical college-going patterns to make projections about current students. Salazar will investigate how geodemographic filters interact with spatial politics that contribute to the educational disenfranchisement of communities of color. Policymakers and researchers concerned with college access have largely ignored the educational technology industry?s intermediary role in connecting colleges to students. This project contributes to a nascent literature investigating how educational algorithmic products structure opportunities along race, class, and geography.
About Karina Salazar
Karina Salazar is an Assistant Professor in the Center for the Study of Higher Education at the University of Arizona. Her research analyzes how the enrollment management practices of public universities shape college access for underserved student populations. Using data science methodologies and the Freedom of Information Act as data collection strategies, her current work focuses on exploring university recruiting and marketing behaviors. Salazar is a local Tucsonan and proud graduate of the Sunnyside Unified School District. She completed her graduate studies at the University of Arizona where her dissertation research was funded by the American Educational Research Association.

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