Too far to go? Does distance determine study choices?

Stefan Wolter 1, Stefan Denzler2
1University of Bern, Switzerland, 2Swiss Coordination Centre for Research in Education, Switzerland

A number of studies have long shown that the probability of studying at university is influenced by the distance to the next university. This study shows for the first time that distance to university also influences the choice of subject/faculty and institution. These findings are interesting also because the distance effect in terms of these decisions is associated with significantly less risk of endogeneity than the analysis of the willingness and ambition to attend university. The results also show that distance does not influence study choices among students from the highest socioeconomic group, which can be interpreted as a further indication that distance to university is in fact an expression of differences in the cost of a university education.

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