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ERIC Number: ED546757
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 2014-Apr
Pages: 7
Abstractor: As Provided
Labor Market Returns to Community College: Evidence from North Carolina. Research Brief
Belfield, Clive; Liu, Yuen Ting; Trimble, Madeline Joy
Center for Analysis of Postsecondary Education and Employment
In this brief, we summarize our research on the wage returns to community college pathways in North Carolina. We use detailed individual and college transcript information on approximately 830,000 students who attended community college during the 2000s. This transcript data is matched with earnings data from Unemployment Insurance records. We estimate earnings gains across different student groups who attended community college in North Carolina. To better identify the effect of college on earnings, we control for a set of individual background characteristics (such as age), indicators of prior achievement (such as college GPA), college attended, and student intentions. Full details on this research are available at (see Belfield, Liu, & Trimble, 2014). Here, we report on earnings in 2011 for a subset of these students--a cohort of approximately 80,000 students who first enrolled in community college in 2002-03. On average, nine years after initially enrolling, women earned $23,600 annually, and men earned $29,200. We only compare earnings within the population of community college students (and do not, for example, compare the earnings of community college students with those of high school graduates). But even within this population, earnings can vary substantially--for example, among students in different academic pathways.
Center for Analysis of Postsecondary Education and Employment. Teachers College, Columbia University, 525 West 120th Street Box 174, New York, NY 10027. Tel: 212.678.3091; e-mail:; Web site:
Publication Type: Reports - Research
Education Level: Two Year Colleges; Higher Education; Postsecondary Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: Institute of Education Sciences (ED)
Authoring Institution: Center for Analysis of Postsecondary Education and Employment (CAPSEE)
Identifiers - Location: North Carolina
IES Funded: Yes
Grant or Contract Numbers: R305C110011