This article examines the factors that influence university students'academic performance, focusing on the role of student background and school factors. Using data on the first-year students at the University of Western Australia in 2001, two methodologies are employed. The first is analogous to an input-output approach, and the second is a random coefficients model. A key finding is that high schools have an impact on the academic performance of students at university beyond students' own background characteristics. Both immersion and reinforcement effects are identified.