School concentrated disadvantage has been linked to poorer academic achievement and psychosocial functioning in prior research. The current study expands upon prior examinations of school concentrated disadvantage by applying a measurement approach first described by Michelmore and Dynarski in 2017, where eligibility for free and reduced-price meals (FRPM) is examined over time and the duration of eligibility serves as the key indicator of student disadvantage. We used data from a linked longitudinal administrative data system in Maryland, and we measured disadvantage using the proportion of years a student was eligible for FRPM between 6th and 12th grades (see ref. Michelmore & Dynarski). This measure was aggregated to the school level to measure school concentrated disadvantage. We found that school-level concentrated disadvantage was uniquely, and more strongly related to college enrollment than individual student-level disadvantage. However, early labor market outcomes tended to be more strongly linked to race/ethnicity than experiences with disadvantage. We highlight the need for additional targeted resources for students in schools with high concentrations of disadvantaged students.
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