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Awilda Rodriguez

Assistant Professor, University of Michigan-Ann Arbor

About Awilda

Rodriguez’s research focuses on equitable access to college access through college preparatory coursework and related higher education policy. Overarching themes in Rodriguez’s writings include race- and class-based inequalities in rigorous high school course-taking; the determinants of college choice, and in particular college match; and the implications of college access policies on marginalized students. Rodriguez is primarily focused on two current projects: a qualitative study that understands the educational transitions of hurricane-affected students from Puerto Rico to Florida after Hurricane Maria and a randomized control trial of an informational intervention that seeks to reduce race-based gaps in Advanced Placement participation. Rodriguez’s work has published in academic journals such as Journal of Higher Education, Research in Higher Education, Review of Higher Education; as well as outlets such as the Chronicle of Higher Education, Diverse Issues in Higher Education, and Latino Rebel.

In the News

"Why ‘Test-Optional’ Admissions Are Not a Game-Changer for Equity After All," Awilda Rodriguez, Opinion, The Hechinger Report, July 13, 2022.
"Let’s Not Underestimate Undermatch," Awilda Rodriguez, Diverse Issues in Higher Education, January 7, 2014.
"At Elite Colleges, No Room at the Dance for Low-Income Students," Awilda Rodriguez, The Chronicle of Higher Education, September 25, 2013.


"More Classes, More Access? Understanding the Effects of Course Offerings on Black-White Gaps in Advanced Placement Course-Taking" (with Keon M. McGuire). The Review of Higher Education 42, no. 2 (Winter 2019): 641-679.

Finds an additional AP course offering increased the Black-White AP course-taking gap in racially diverse high schools by 1.1 percentage points, net of other variables, using national school-level data from the Office for Civil Rights and an instrumental variable approach. Contradicts the common assumption that simply offering more courses will improve Black student participation.

"Inequity by Design? Aligning High School Math Offerings and Public Flagship College Entrance Requirements" The Journal of Higher Education 89, no. 2 (2018): 153-183.

Examines whether high school math courses aligned to the respective public flagships’ minimum math requirements, using high school-level data from the Office for Civil Rights. Shows high schools that serve predominantly low-income student-of-color have a higher probability of underalignment compared with most other high school types.