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Heterogeneity in the Returns to Credits for Public Two-Year College Entrants

Lauren Schudde () and Meghan Shea
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Lauren Schudde: The University of Texas At Austin
Meghan Shea: Abt Associates

Research in Higher Education, 2022, vol. 63, issue 2, No 6, 337-367

Abstract: Abstract Public two-year colleges offer an entry point to postsecondary education for many Americans who might otherwise forgo college. Most students leave college without a credential. A growing body of research examines the returns to higher education among two-year college entrants but primarily focuses on returns to credentials. This study examines the returns to different types of credits, including academic, technical, and developmental credits. In a series of individual fixed effects models, we use state administrative data following a population of public two-year college entrants to understand which college credits yield the greatest returns and how returns to credits vary across degree attainment. Our findings illustrate that average estimates of the returns to credits obscure varied patterns of returns among two-year college students, where sub-baccalaureate credential recipients appear to experience different returns to academic and technical credits compared with their peers.

Keywords: Community college; Two-year college; College credits; Individual fixed effects; Labor market outcomes; Sub-baccalaureate; Interaction effects; Returns to higher education (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2022
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DOI: 10.1007/s11162-021-09654-8

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