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45 posts on "Education"

October 10, 2019

Is Free College the Solution to Student Debt Woes? Studying the Heterogeneous Impacts of Merit Aid Programs



Is Free College the Solution to Student Debt Woes? Studying the Heterogeneous Impacts of Merit Aid Programs

The rising cost of a college education has become an important topic of discussion among both policymakers and practitioners. At least eleven states have recently introduced programs to make public two-year education tuition free, including New York, which is rolling out its Excelsior Scholarship to provide tuition-free four-year college education to low-income students across the SUNY and CUNY systems. Prior to these new initiatives, New York, had already instituted merit scholarship programs that subsidize the cost of college conditional on academic performance and in-state attendance. Given the rising cost of college and the increased prevalence of tuition-subsidy programs, it’s important for us to understand the effects of such programs on students, and whether these effects vary by income and race. While a rich body of work has studied the effects of merit scholarship programs on educational attainment, the same is not true for the effects on financial outcomes of students, such as debt and repayment. This blog post reports preliminary findings from ongoing work, which is one of the first research initiatives to understand such effects.

Continue reading "Is Free College the Solution to Student Debt Woes? Studying the Heterogeneous Impacts of Merit Aid Programs" »

Posted by Blog Author at 7:00 AM in Education, Household Finance, Human Capital, Inequality | Permalink | Comments (0)

October 07, 2019

Introduction to Heterogeneity Series: Understanding Causes and Implications of Various Inequalities



Introduction to Heterogeneity Series: Understanding Causes and Implications of Various Inequalities

Economic analysis is often geared toward understanding the average effects of a given policy or program. Likewise, economic policies frequently target the average person or firm. While averages are undoubtedly useful reference points for researchers and policymakers, they don’t tell the whole story: it is vital to understand how the effects of economic trends and government policies vary across geographic, demographic, and socioeconomic boundaries. It is also important to assess the underlying causes of the various inequalities we observe around us, whether they are related to income, health, or any other set of indicators. Starting today, we are running a series of six blog posts (apart from this introductory post), each of which focuses on an interesting case of heterogeneity in the United States.

Continue reading "Introduction to Heterogeneity Series: Understanding Causes and Implications of Various Inequalities" »

July 10, 2019

Did the Value of a College Degree Decline during the Great Recession?



Did the Value of a College Degree Decline during the Great Recession?

In an earlier post, we studied how educational attainment affects labor market outcomes and earnings inequality. In this post, we investigate whether these labor market effects were preserved across the last business cycle: Did students with certain types of educational attainment weather the recession better?

Continue reading "Did the Value of a College Degree Decline during the Great Recession?" »

June 05, 2019

Despite Rising Costs, College Is Still a Good Investment



Second of two posts
Despite Rising Costs, College Is Still a Good Investment

In our last post, we showed that the cost of college has increased sharply in recent years due to the rising opportunity cost of attending school and the steady rise in tuition. This steep increase in the cost of college has once again raised questions about whether college is “worth it.” In this post, we weigh the economic benefits of a bachelor’s degree against the costs to estimate the return to college, providing an update to our 2014 study. We find that the average rate of return for a bachelor’s degree has edged down slightly in recent years due to rising costs, but remains high at around 14 percent, easily surpassing the threshold for a good investment. Thus, while the rising cost of college appears to have eroded the value of a bachelor’s degree somewhat, college remains a good investment for most people.

Continue reading "Despite Rising Costs, College Is Still a Good Investment" »

Posted by Blog Author at 7:00 AM in Education, Human Capital | Permalink | Comments (10)

June 03, 2019

The Cost of College Continues to Climb



First of two posts
The Cost of College Continues to Climb

College is much more expensive than it used to be. Tuition for a bachelor’s degree has more than tripled from an (inflation-adjusted) average of about $5,000 per year in the 1970s to around $18,000 today. For many parents and prospective students, this high and rising tuition has raised concerns about whether getting a college degree is still worth it—a question we addressed in a 2014 study. In this post, we update that study, estimating the cost of college in terms of both out-of-pocket expenses, like tuition, and opportunity costs, the wages one gives up to attend school. We find that the cost of college has increased sharply over the past several years, though tuition increases are not the primary driver. Rather, opportunity costs have increased substantially as the wages of those without a college degree have climbed due to a strong labor market. In a follow-up post, we will consider whether college is still “worth it” by weighing the benefits relative to the costs to estimate the return to a college degree.

Continue reading "The Cost of College Continues to Climb" »

Posted by Blog Author at 7:00 AM in Education, Labor Economics, Labor Market | Permalink | Comments (5)

November 14, 2018

Just Released: New York State’s Community Colleges are Successfully Partnering with Employers



LSE_2018_New York State’s Community Colleges are Successfully Partnering with Employers

Community colleges frequently work with local employers to help shape the training of students and incumbent workers. This type of engagement has become an increasingly important strategy for community colleges to help students acquire the right skills for available jobs, and also helps local employers find and retain workers with the training they need. The Federal Reserve Bank of New York conducted a survey of community colleges in New York State with the goal of documenting the amount and types of these kinds of activities taking place. Our report, Employer Engagement by Community Colleges in New York State, summarizes the findings of our survey.

Continue reading "Just Released: New York State’s Community Colleges are Successfully Partnering with Employers" »

September 05, 2018

Education’s Role in Earnings, Employment, and Economic Mobility



LSE_Education’s Role in Earnings, Employment, and Economic Mobility

Amid dialogue about the soaring student loan burden, questions arise about how educational characteristics (school type, selectivity, and major) affect disparities in post-college labor market outcomes. In this post, we specifically explore the impact of such school and major choices on employment, earnings, and upward economic mobility. Insight into determinants of economic disparity is key for understanding long-term consumption and inequality patterns. In addition, this gives us a window into factors that could be used to ameliorate income inequality and promote economic mobility.

Continue reading "Education’s Role in Earnings, Employment, and Economic Mobility" »

November 22, 2017

Are Student Loan Defaults Cyclical? It Depends



LSE_Are Student Loan Defaults Cyclical? It Depends

This post is the second in a two-part series on student loan default behavior. In the first post, we studied how educational characteristics (school type and selectivity, graduation, and major) and family background relate to the incidence of student loan default. In this post, we investigate whether default behavior has varied across cohorts of borrowers as the labor market evolved over time. Specifically, does the ability of student loan holders to repay their loans vary with the state of the labor market? Does the type of education these students received make any difference to this relationship?

Continue reading "Are Student Loan Defaults Cyclical? It Depends" »

Posted by Blog Author at 7:00 AM in Education, Household Finance, Labor Economics | Permalink | Comments (0)

November 20, 2017

Who Is More Likely to Default on Student Loans?



Who Is More Likely to Default on Student Loans?

This post seeks to understand how educational characteristics (school type and selectivity, graduation status, major) and family background relate to the incidence of student loan default. Student indebtedness has grown substantially, increasing by 170 percent between 2006 and 2016. In addition, the fraction of students who default on those loans has grown considerably. Of students who left college in 2010 and 2011, 28 percent defaulted on their student loans within five years, compared with 19 percent of those who left school in 2005 and 2006. Since defaulting on student loans can have serious consequences for credit scores and, by extension, the ability to purchase a home and take out other loans, it’s critical to understand how college and family characteristics correspond to default rates.

Continue reading "Who Is More Likely to Default on Student Loans?" »

Posted by Blog Author at 7:00 AM in Education, Household Finance, Labor Economics | Permalink | Comments (8)

May 19, 2017

Hey, Economist! Is Now a Good Time to Be Graduating from College?



LSE_2017_Hey, Economist! Is Now a Good Time to Be Graduating from College?

With the 2017 college graduation season in full swing, we thought it would be helpful to take stock of the job prospects for recent college graduates. Is now a good time to be graduating from college? Publications editor Trevor Delaney caught up with Jaison Abel and Richard Deitz, two economists in our Research and Statistics Group, to discuss some of their work on the labor market for recent college graduates.

Continue reading "Hey, Economist! Is Now a Good Time to Be Graduating from College?" »

Posted by Blog Author at 7:00 AM in Education, Hey, Economist!, Labor Economics, Unemployment | Permalink | Comments (2)
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