% This file was created with Citavi @article{Stark.2022, abstract = {Research consistently shows that students from academic households are more likely to enter higher education than students from non-academic households. These inequalities are only secondarily due to differences in performance (i.e., primary effects), but mostly due to students' decision making behavior (i.e., secondary effects). The relative share to which primary effects and secondary effects mediate the effect of students' educational background on their intention to enter higher education is affected by external conditions. One significant external influence that may have had an impact on social disparities in students' educational choices is the COVID-19 pandemic. Herein, we present data from N = 596 upper secondary students (41.6{\%} from non-academic households) that were collected in Germany in April 2021. Building on rational choice theory, we scrutinized students' expected benefits (i.e., employment prospects and personal significance), costs (i.e., direct costs and opportunity costs), and subjective probability of success in pursuing higher education as important psychological pillars for their intention to enter higher education. Results show that about 14{\%} of social differences in students' intention to enter higher education were due to primary effects, whereas almost 77{\%} were explained by secondary effects. Specifically, we found that differences in the evaluation of benefits most strongly contributed to social inequalities in students' intention to enroll in higher education. Compared to research on pre- COVID-19 cohorts, our results point to shifts in existing patterns of inequalities in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic.}, author = {Stark, Johannes and Daniel, Annabell and Twardawski, Mathias}, year = {2022}, title = {Social disparities in students' intention to enter higher education during the COVID-19 pandemic}, volume = {17}, number = {5}, issn = {1932-6203}, journal = {PLOS ONE}, doi = {10.1371/journal.pone.0267978} }