How Colleges and Universities Can Help Their Local Economies
Policymakers are increasingly viewing colleges and universities as important engines of growth for their local areas. In addition to having direct economic impacts, these institutions help to raise the skills of an area?s workforce (its local ?human capital?), and they do this in two ways. First, by educating potential workers, they increase the supply of human capital in a region. Perhaps less obviously, these schools can also raise a region?s demand for human capital by helping local businesses create jobs for skilled workers. In this post, we draw on our recent academic research and ...
The Changing Higher Education Landscape
The past decade and a half has seen dramatic changes in the higher education landscape, characterized by significant growth in enrollment. This growth has been concentrated mostly in for-profit schools, where enrollment skyrocketed in the first decade of the period, nearly quadrupling between 2000 and 2011. The post-2011 period has been marked by an abatement of this growth. These patterns have strong implications not only for the higher education market but also for the labor force and the economy more broadly. Therefore, it is essential to understand the evolution of the different sectors ...
The Changing Role of Community-College and For-Profit-College Borrowers in the Student Loan Market
In the first post in this series, we characterized the rapid transformation of the higher education market over the 2000-2015 period, a transformation that was led by explosive growth of the for-profit sector of higher education. In the second post, we found that most of this growth was driven by nontraditional students entering these institutions. Given this growth and the marked change in student composition, it is important to understand what impact these patterns might have on student loan originations, student loan volume, and the borrower pool in the various sectors of higher education. ...
Who Falters at Student Loan Payback Time?
This is the final post in a four-part series examining the evolution of enrollment, student loans, graduation and default in the higher education market over the course of the past fifteen years. In the first post, we found a marked increase in enrollment of 35 percent between 2000 and 2015, led mostly by the for-profit sector?which increased enrollment by 177 percent. The second post showed that these new enrollees were quite different from the traditional enrollees. Yesterday?s post demonstrated an unprecedented increase in loan origination amounts during this period?nearly tripling between ...
Consequences of state disinvestment in public higher education: lessons for the New England states
Public higher education produces many benefits that are vital to the New England economy, but it is increasingly at risk following years of state budget cuts. States have reduced funding for higher education to address short-term budget gaps caused by recessions and long-term budget gaps attributed to the growing costs of Medicaid and public pensions. Research in this report shows that reductions in state appropriations have resulted in higher tuition and fees, greater student loan debt, decreased resources for education and research, and fewer graduates and approved patent applications from ...
Do colleges and universities increase their region's human capital?
We investigate whether the degree production and research and development (R&D) activities of colleges and universities are related to the amount and types of human capital present in the metropolitan areas where the institutions are located. We find that degree production has only a small positive relationship with local stocks of human capital, suggesting that migration plays an important role in the geographic distribution of human capital. Moreover, we show that spillovers from academic R&D activities tilt the structure of local labor markets toward occupations requiring innovation and ...
Who Has the Time? Community College Students’ Time-Use Response to Financial Incentives
We evaluate the effect of performance-based scholarship programs for postsecondary students on student time use and effort and whether these effects are different for students we hypothesize may be more or less responsive to incentives. To do so, we administered a time-use survey as part of a randomized experiment in which community college students in New York City were randomly assigned to be eligible for a performance-based scholarship or to a control group that was only eligible for the standard financial aid. This paper contributes to the literature by attempting to get inside the ...
Does Salient Financial Information Affect Academic Performance and Borrowing Behavior among College Students?
While rising student loan debt can plague college students future finances, few federal programs have been instituted to educate college students on the mechanics of student loan borrowing. This paper exploits a natural experiment in which some students received "Know Your Debt" letters with incentivized offers for one-on-one financial counseling. Montana State University students who reached a specific debt threshold received these letters; University of Montana students did not. We use a difference-in-difference-in-differences strategy to compare students above and below the thresholds ...
Modern Income-Share Agreements in Postsecondary Education: Features, Theory, Applications
An income-share agreement (ISA) in postsecondary education is a contract in which students pledge to pay a certain percentage of their future incomes over a set period of time in exchange for funding educational program expenses in the present. Typically, participants begin to make payments once their incomes rise above a minimum threshold set by the terms of the ISA and will never pay more than a set cap (usually, a multiple of the original amount). Funding for ISAs can range from university sources to philanthropic funding and private investor capital. In this study, we describe the many ...
Transitioning from High School to College: Differences across Virginia
In Virginia, there are substantial differences across school districts in college enrollment and, conditional on college enrollment, attendance at high-resource colleges and universities. School districts in low-income and relatively rural areas tend to demonstrate the weakest outcomes, but income and geography do not fully account for the observed differences. Whether limited enrollment at a broad range of colleges arises from gaps in academic preparation, difficulty in navigating the application process, or individual preference matters greatly for public policy.