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Cost-benefit information closes aspiration gaps – if parents think their child is ready for college

Albert Cheng, Michael B. Henderson, Paul E. Peterson and Martin R. West

Education Economics, 2021, vol. 29, issue 3, 233-251

Abstract: Can information close socioeconomic gaps in parents’ postsecondary aspirations for their children? We administer a survey experiment to a nationally representative sample of U.S. parents, who are also asked whether their child is academically prepared for college. We inquire whether parents prefer their child to pursue a four-year degree, two-year degree, or no further education. Some parents are also randomly told the costs of college for an individual in their state and income bracket; local labor-market returns to a degree; or both costs and returns. Information closes socioeconomic aspiration gaps only if parents believe their child is ready for college.

Date: 2021
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DOI: 10.1080/09645292.2021.1874879

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