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ERIC Number: ED554468
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 2013
Pages: 68
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: N/A
ISBN: 978-1-3032-2843-8
The Returns to Community College
Agan, Amanda Yvonne
ProQuest LLC, Ph.D. Dissertation, The University of Chicago
Almost half of postsecondary students are currently enrolled in community colleges. These institutions imply that even amongst students with the same degree outcome there is considerable heterogeneity in the path taken to get there. I estimate the life-cycle private and social returns to the different postsecondary paths and sequential decisions made by the students using data from the National Longitudinal Survey of Youth 1979 (NLSY79). My approach highlights both the benefits and the costs of different postsecondary choices, as well as taking account of the fact that wage premia are not constant over the life-cycle. I find positive, significant social and private returns for most postsecondary paths and decisions. Significantly lower opportunity and direct costs for paths that involve community college make the internal returns to these paths high. Even for paths that lead to the same final degree, returns and present values are different due to different costs and earnings over the life-cycle. I also analyze the different programs and majors offered by community colleges separately. For this, I supplement the analysis in the NLSY79 with additional data from the Beginning Postsecondary Students Survey (BPS), the Census, and the Current Population Survey (CPS). I estimate high returns to science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) majors, business, and health majors at community college as compared to other majors. I find that both occupational and academic associate's degrees give significant returns to men and women. [The dissertation citations contained here are published with the permission of ProQuest LLC. Further reproduction is prohibited without permission. Copies of dissertations may be obtained by Telephone (800) 1-800-521-0600. Web page:]
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Publication Type: Dissertations/Theses - Doctoral Dissertations
Education Level: Two Year Colleges; Higher Education; Postsecondary Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Assessments and Surveys: Beginning Postsecondary Students Longitudinal Study