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Help or Hindrance? The Effects of College Remediation on Academic and Labor Market Outcomes

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  • Paco Martorell

    (RAND)

  • Isaac McFarlin

    (University of Michigan and University of Texas at Dallas)

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    Abstract

    Providing remedial (also known as developmental) education is the primary way colleges cope with students who do not have the academic preparation needed to succeed in college-level courses. Remediation is widespread, with nearly one-third of entering freshmen taking remedial courses at an annual cost of at least $$1 billion. Despite its prevalence, there is uncertainty surrounding its short- and longer-run effects. This paper presents new evidence on this question using longitudinal administrative data from Texas and a regression discontinuity research design. We find little indication that remediation improves academic or labor market outcomes. © 2011 The President and Fellows of Harvard College and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.

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    Bibliographic Info

    Article provided by MIT Press in its journal The Review of Economics and Statistics.

    Volume (Year): 93 (2011)
    Issue (Month): 2 (May)
    Pages: 436-454

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    Handle: RePEc:tpr:restat:v:93:y:2011:i:2:p:436-454

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    Cited by:
    1. DesJardins, Stephen L. & McCall, Brian P., 2014. "The impact of the Gates Millennium Scholars Program on college and post-college related choices of high ability, low-income minority students," Economics of Education Review, Elsevier, Elsevier, vol. 38(C), pages 124-138.
    2. Kalena Cortes & Joshua Goodman & Takako Nomi, 2014. "Intensive Math Instruction and Educational Attainment: Long-Run Impacts of Double-Dose Algebra," NBER Working Papers 20211, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    3. Jepsen, Christopher & Mueser, Peter R. & Troske, Kenneth, 2012. "Labor-Market Returns to the GED Using Regression Discontinuity Analysis," IZA Discussion Papers 6758, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
    4. Judith Scott-Clayton & Peter M. Crosta & Clive R. Belfield, 2012. "Improving the Targeting of Treatment: Evidence from College Remediation," NBER Working Papers 18457, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.

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