There is an abundance of research on the college admissions process and the practices selective schools employ to evaluate and select students. Most findings are complex, nuanced, or conflicting.

Earlier this year, the Urban Institute hosted a convening of academic researchers, officials from the U.S. Department of Education and the Biden-Harris administration, and representatives of philanthropic foundations and advocacy organizations for a wide-ranging discussion about the future of college admissions from a research perspective.

Informed largely by the discussions from that convening, this report identifies key themes from the relevant research on the recruitment and admissions practices that will play a significant role in the future of college student diversity. Additionally, the report highlights areas for more research and the data needed to support further areas of future research.