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ERIC Number: ED566401
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 2016-Apr
Pages: 49
Abstractor: As Provided
How and Why Does Two-Year College Entry Influence Baccalaureate Aspirants' Academic and Labor Market Outcomes? A CAPSEE Working Paper
Xu, Di; Jaggars, Shanna Smith; Fletcher, Jeffrey
Center for Analysis of Postsecondary Education and Employment
Using detailed administrative data from Virginia, this paper examines how and why the community college pathway to a baccalaureate influences students' degree attainment and short-term labor market performance. We find that the community college pathway sharply reduces the likelihood of earning a bachelor's degree but does not have a significant impact on students' short-term labor market performance. We examine various mechanisms that may stand in the way of students' baccalaureate completion: the impacts of two-year attendance on early academic progress, the logistical challenges inherent in selecting and enrolling in a four-year transfer destination, the loss of credits at the point of transfer, and post-transfer academic "shock." Our results suggest that the primary culprit is that many otherwise successful community college students never enter a four-year transfer destination. Among students who do transfer, their probability of baccalaureate attainment and their short-term labor market performance are comparable to those of native four-year students. After taking into account the lower costs of community college attendance, our cost-benefit analysis finds that two-year entrants fare as well as or better than four-year entrants, at least in the short run (eight years after college entry).
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: Numerical/Quantitative Data; 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: Virginia
IES Funded: Yes
Grant or Contract Numbers: R305C110011