A Data Analysis of Success in OCS, The Use of ASVAB Waivers, and Race
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Applicants for Officers Candidate School (OCS) can receive a mental aptitude qualification waiver based upon their scores on the electronics portion of the Armed Services Vocational Aptitude Battery (ASVAB). The question arises whether the candidates that receive a waiver have the same success rate in OCS as those who do not. From OCS records there is strong evidence that the overall rate of success in OCS is smaller for those candidates who hold a waiver than for those candidates who do not hold a waiver. However, closer inspection of the data reveals that success rates change with race in such a way that, for each racial group, the presence or absence of a waiver is not noticeable. That is, success is conditionally independent of waiver. This independence is lost when the conditioning is removed. Thus what initially seemed to be a waiver policy issue is confounded by the rate of granting waivers by race and differences in success rates by race. The OCS data are studied to expose this conundrum and to develop sharper models for success in OCS.
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