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Heterogeneous Paths Through College: Detailed Patterns and Relationships with Graduation and Earnings

Rodney Andrews, Jing Li and Michael Lovenheim ()

No 19935, NBER Working Papers from National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc

Abstract: A considerable fraction of college students and bachelor's degree recipients enroll in multiple postsecondary institutions. Despite this fact, there is scant research that examines the nature of the paths - both the number and types of institutions - that students take to obtain a bachelor's degree or through the higher education system more generally. We also know little about enrollment in multiple institutions of varying quality relates to postgraduate life outcomes. We use a unique panel data set from Texas that allows us to both examine in detail the paths that students take towards a bachelor's degree and estimate how multiple institution enrollment is related to degree completion and subsequent earnings. We show that the paths to a bachelor's degree are diverse and that earnings and BA receipt vary systematically with these paths. Our results call attention to the importance of developing a more complete understanding of why students transfer and what causal role transferring has on the returns to postsecondary educational investment.

JEL-codes: I21 I23 J31 (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2014-02
New Economics Papers: this item is included in nep-edu and nep-lma
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Published as Andrews, Rodney & Li, Jing & Lovenheim, Michael F., 2014. "Heterogeneous paths through college: Detailed patterns and relationships with graduation and earnings," Economics of Education Review, Elsevier, vol. 42(C), pages 93-108.

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