For-Profit Wage Gap?

Career College Central summary:

  • Community college students who transfer to for-profit institutions tend to earn less over the next decade than do their peers who transfer to public or private colleges. Those are the findings from a study released Monday by the Center for Analysis of Postsecondary Education and Employment, a research center that was created with a federal grant and is housed at the Community College Research Center (CCRC) at Columbia University’s Teachers College.
  • In recent years several researchers have attempted to look at the relative labor market returns of attending for-profits, which is also a hot topic among policy makers. There are many variables at play – such as the relatively low academic preparation of incoming for-profit students versus their peers at traditional colleges. And the results from those research efforts have ranged from largely unflattering to a mixed view of for-profits.
  • This new study, however, may be the first to analyze earnings gaps at various points before and after students attend college, as well as while they’re still enrolled. It also controlled for the effects of student “swirl” in the complex higher education system by looking at transfer among a large sample of 80,000 full-time community college students who first enrolled in the early to mid-2000s.
  • Over all, the research found that students who transferred to for-profits earned roughly 7 percent less over the next decade than students who transferred to private or public nonprofit institutions, according to income data culled from unemployment insurance data dated from up to 2012.

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