Are college costs worth it?: how ability, major, and debt affect the returns to schooling


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Author: Webber, Douglas A.


This paper examines the financial value over the course of a lifetime of pursuing a college degree under a variety of different settings (e.g. major, student loan debt, individual ability). [The author] account[s] for ability/selection bias and the probability that entering freshmen will not eventually graduate. [The author] find[s] the financial proposition of attending college is a sound investment for most individuals and cost scenarios, although some scenarios do not pay off until late in life, or ever. [The author] estimate[s] the present discounted value of attending college for...  [+] Show more

Subjects: Students; Outcomes; Income; Finance; Teaching and learning; Providers of education and training

Keywords: Return on education and training; Educational expenditure; Postsecondary education; College; Attainment; Graduates

Geographic subjects: North America; United States

Published: Oxford, England: Elsevier, 2016

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Journal volume: 53

Journal date: August 2016

Pages: pp. 296-310

Related items: TD/TNC 119.161

ISSN: 0272-7757

An earlier version of this article was published as the IZA discussion paper 'Are college costs worth it?: how individual ability, major choice, and debt affect optimal schooling decisions', which is indexed in VOCEDplus at TD/TNC 119.161.

Resource type: Article

Peer reviewed: Yes

Document number: TD/TNC 125.719

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