The returns of a community college education: Evidence from the National Education Longitudinal Survey

Dave E. Marcotte, Thomas Bailey, Carey Borkoski, Greg S. Kienzl

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

Abstract

Using the 2000 follow-up of the National Education Longitudinal Survey, the authors estimated earnings effects of a community college education. Previous research relied on data collected from students enrolled 20 or 30 years ago. Because the labor market and community colleges have changed dramatically since then, the authors provide an update by studying students enrolled in the 1990s. They found substantial evidence that a community college education has positive effects on earnings among young workers. This effect was larger for annual earnings than for hourly wages. Earnings benefits accrued both to those who failed to earn a credential and to those who earned an associate degree. The current results are similar to estimates for earlier cohorts. The stability of the wage advantage of a community college education during a period of growing enrollment provides evidence of a growing relative demand for a community college over a high school education.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)157-175
Number of pages19
JournalEducational Evaluation and Policy Analysis
Volume27
Issue number2
DOIs
StatePublished - 2005

Keywords

  • Community college
  • Earnings
  • Employment

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Education

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