ERIC Number: ED161387
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1978-May
Reference Count: 0
The Relationship Between Program Cost and Economic Return: The Case of One Public University. AIR Forum Paper 1978.
Duff, Franklin L.; Dold, Charles N.
Previous research related to the economics of higher education has devoted virtually no attention to the economic return for different disciplines or fields of study. The present study examines the relationship between cost and economic return for undergraduate programs of study at one large public institution, the University of Illinois. In the study, cost included institutional costs for instruction and for certain overhead items, while economic return was defined as return to the graduates through their entry job annual salaries. The correlation between the two variables was statistically significant, but less than 25 percent of the variance in median salary was accounted for by program cost. This relatively low level of relationship was further reflected by a considerable range among disciplines in the ratio of annual salary to cost. For some disciplines median annual salary for bachelor's graduates was less than program cost, while for others median salary was more than double program cost. The results clearly indicated that economic return varies greatly across disciplines. Implications of the findings for both institutions and students are discussed. (Author/JMD)
Descriptors: College Graduates, Cost Effectiveness, Educational Economics, Graduate Surveys, Higher Education, Institutional Research, Intellectual Disciplines, Literature Reviews, Majors (Students), Program Costs, Research Projects, Salaries, Salary Wage Differentials, State Universities, Statistical Data
Publication Type: Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: Illinois Univ., Champaign.
Identifiers: University of Illinois
Note: Paper presented at the annual Association for Institutional Research Forum (18th, Houston, Texas, May 21-25, 1978); Table 1 may not reproduce well