Date of Award

Spring 5-2020

Degree Type


Degree Name


Degree Program

Educational Administration


Educational Administration

Major Professor

Christopher Broadhurst

Second Advisor

Brian Beabout

Third Advisor

Marc Bonis


The purpose of this study was to examine how the use of standardized test scores may have had potential impacts on students of color at an urban public university. Historically, standardized test scores have disproportionately impacted students of color and other traditionally marginalized populations in education (Fair Test, 2018). The primary research question of this study addressed the outcomes associated with the heavy reliance on standardized test scores for admission at an urban, public institution. Additionally, the study examined the impact of admissions policies on race and access to higher education. The specific questions for the research included how admission rates varied according to student characteristics. In regards to race, what is the effect on admissions when admissions criteria are increased using standardized test scores?

This quantitative study adopted a case study approach. The specific context in this study examined the outcomes associated with increased admissions standards at the University of New Orleans, an urban public university. More specifically, this study only focused on students in the Greater New Orleans area. The primary goal of this research was to apply Disparate Impact analysis to examine if the increase in admissions standardized test scores changed the outcome of who (by race, socioeconomic status, gender, and community type) was admitted or denied admission to the University of New Orleans. This quantitative case study used two statistical tools, chi-square and binary logistic regression, to seek answers to two questions on the use of strict standardized test cut scores in admissions policies. This study added to the existing limited quantitative data on the impact of standardized testing on urban, public universities in the face of changing demographics in their regions. Results showed a significant decrease in applications during the change in admissions policy.


The University of New Orleans and its agents retain the non-exclusive license to archive and make accessible this dissertation or thesis in whole or in part in all forms of media, now or hereafter known. The author retains all other ownership rights to the copyright of the thesis or dissertation.