The labor market returns to a for-profit college education
Cellini, Stephanie Riegg
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A lengthy literature estimating the returns to education has largely ignored the for-profit sector. In this paper, we estimate the earnings gains to for-profit college attendance using restricted-access data from the 1997 National Longitudinal Survey of Youth (NLSY97). Using an individual fixed effects estimation strategy that allows us to control for time- invariant unobservable characteristics of students, we find that students who enroll in associate’s degree programs in for-profit colleges experience earnings gains of about 10% relative to high school graduates with no college degree, conditional on employment. Since associate’s degree students attend for an average of 2.6 years, this translates to a 4% return per year of education in a for-profit college, slightly lower than estimates of returns for other sectors found in the literature.
The article of record as published may be located at http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.econedurev.2014.10.001
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