Higher education in China has experienced an unprecedented expansion since 1998. Despite the heated public debate on equity in access to higher education, particularly related to the province-based quota system, only anecdotal evidence has been presented to show the decline of students from disadvantaged backgrounds in enrollment in several elite universities. The examination of the role of expansion and differentiation in higher education and its implications for stratification remain to be seen, manly due to the unavailability of appropriate data. In 2009, we launched the first wave of the “Panel Study of Beijing College Students”, which aims to collect the panel data on 5000 students from 15 randomly selected universities in Beijing, tracking their differential experience in career choices, adaptation strategies and subsequent labor market outcomes in 2010, 2011, and 2012. This talk introduces the research designs and some preliminary findings from the survey data.