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ERIC Number: EJ953985
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2012-Feb
Pages: 11
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: N/A
ISSN: ISSN-0272-7757
Back to School: An Application of Human Capital Theory for Mature Workers
Jepsen, Christopher; Montgomery, Mark
Economics of Education Review, v31 n1 p168-178 Feb 2012
There is a vast literature on the decision to enroll in higher education, but it focuses almost entirely on traditional students: 18 year olds graduating from high school. Yet less than half of students at degree-granting institutions are in the traditional 18-22 age range; nearly 40% are at least 25. This paper examines the enrollment behavior of persons 25 or older. We use data from a large-scale 1998 Department of Labor (DOL) policy demonstration in Greater Baltimore. By studying the behavior of older people we can examine factors such as age, earnings and marital status that vary little among the much-studied traditional students. Our results conform to the (rarely tested) predictions of human capital theory that age and opportunity costs are impediments to enrollment. We also find that where you live has a substantial impact on whether you return to school. (Contains 2 figures and 5 tables.)
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Evaluative
Education Level: Adult Education; Higher Education; Postsecondary Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: Maryland