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Dr. Karly Ford

Dr. Karly Ford
Phone: 8148659756
Office Address:
405E Rackley Building
University Park, PA 16802
Campus: University Park


Assistant Professor of Education (Higher Education)


Education Policy Studies


Center for the Study of Higher Education (CSHE)


Higher Education
Comparative and International Education

Other Penn State Affiliations



Karly Sarita Ford is an Assistant Professor in the Education Policy Studies department at The Pennsylvania State University. Her research focuses on the relationship between education and social stratification. She received a Masters of Education in International Education Policy from Harvard University in 2007 and a Ph.D. in Sociology of Education from New York University in 2014. Ford is the co-editor of a reader now in its fourth edition: The Structure of Schooling: Readings in the Sociology of Education. Her work has appeared in Educational Researcher, Race, Ethnicity and Education, Research in Social Stratification and Mobility and The Journal of Diversity in Higher Education. Ford's research interests are Higher Education, Sociology of Education, International Comparative Education, and the social processes of collecting and representing demographic (race, gender, class) data.

Areas of Expertise

Age Levels


Education Levels


Education Types

Distance Ed

Educational Studies

Comparative Ed
Educational Theory
International Ed

Higher Education

Higher Education


Education Access
Equity and Diversity

Methodological Research

Qualitative Research
Quantitative Research

Social Issues

Comparative and International Education
Education Policy
Race and Ethnicity
Social Issues

Office Hours

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Representative Publications

 Patterson, Ashley, Karly Ford and Leandra Cate (2019). Digital Formations of Racial Understandings: How University Websites are Contributing to the ‘Two or More Races’ Conversation. Race, Ethnicity and Education (Accepted: Forthcoming)

 Ford, Karly. (2019) Marrying Within the Alma Mater: Understanding the Role of Same-University Marriages in Educational Homogamy. Sociological Research Online.

  Ford, Karly. (2019) Observer-Identified Race and Ethnicity Data: Validity Threat. Educational Researcher.

  Rosinger, Kelly & Karly Ford. (2019) Pell Grant Versus Income Data in Postsecondary Research Educational Researcher.

Ford, Karly. (2018). Persisting gaps: Labor market outcomes and numeracy skill levels of first-generation and multi-generation college graduates in the United States. Research in Social Stratification and Mobility. 56, p21-27

Ford, Karly & Ashley Patterson. (2018) “Cosmetic Diversity”: University Websites Transforming Race Categories to Serve Diversity Goals.  Journal of Diversity in Higher Education

Ford, Karly & Jason Thompson. (2016)  Inherited Prestige: Intergenerational Access to Selective Universities in the United States. Research in Social Stratification and Mobility. 46, p86-98