On the Edge of Commitment: Educational Attainment and Race in the United States

The importance of educational certification for labor market success has increased since the 1970s. But social sciences still cannot answer a fundamental question: Who goes to college and why? In On the Edge of Commitment, Stephen L. Morgan offers a new model of educational achievement to explain why some students are committed to preparation for college.

Morgan’s model unites in one common framework the forward-looking cost-benefit assessments of students with social influence processes. The model is then used to explain puzzling race differences in patterns of high school achievement and subsequent rates of college enrollment. The book, using this model, makes a major theoretical statement on the process of educational achievement, which will help to launch a new generation of empirical work.