Monday, May 30, 2016
Assessing the Employment and Earnings of For-Profit College Students
This study draws on population-level administrative data from the U.S. Department of Education and the Internal Revenue Service to quantify the impact of for-profit college attendance on the employment and earnings of over 1.4 million students.
The study finds that on average associate’s and bachelor’s degree students experience a decline in earnings after attendance, relative to their own earnings in years prior to attendance. Master’s degree students and students who complete their degrees appear to experience better outcomes, with positive earnings effects. For certificate students, despite the much higher costs of attendance, earnings effects are smaller in the for-profit sector relative to the effects for comparable students in public community colleges—a result that holds for all but one of the top ten fields of study.