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Costs of attendance and the educational programs of first-time community college students


  • Nutting, Andrew W.


I use data from the State University of New York to examine whether changes in community college attendance costs yield different impacts on first-time enrollment in different community college programs. Evidence is strong that academic-program enrollment significantly and substantially decreases when 2-year tuition increases, but weaker that it increases when 4-year tuition increases. Occupational-program enrollment is less responsive to 2- and 4-year tuition changes, but more responsive to labor market conditions. These different responses translate into significant changes in the program composition of entering community college cohorts when the costs of attendance change.

Suggested Citation

  • Nutting, Andrew W., 2008. "Costs of attendance and the educational programs of first-time community college students," Economics of Education Review, Elsevier, vol. 27(4), pages 450-459, August.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:ecoedu:v:27:y:2008:i:4:p:450-459

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Thomas J. Kane, 1995. "Rising Public College Tuition and College Entry: How Well Do Public Subsidies Promote Access to College?," NBER Working Papers 5164, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    2. Levy, Frank & Murnane, Richard J, 1992. "U.S. Earnings Levels and Earnings Inequality: A Review of Recent Trends and Proposed Explanations," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 30(3), pages 1333-1381, September.
    3. Alfonso, Mariana & Bailey, Thomas R. & Scott, Marc, 2005. "The educational outcomes of occupational sub-baccalaureate students: evidence from the 1990s," Economics of Education Review, Elsevier, vol. 24(2), pages 197-212, April.
    4. Leigh, D. E. & Gill, A. M., 2003. "Do community colleges really divert students from earning bachelor's degrees?," Economics of Education Review, Elsevier, vol. 22(1), pages 23-30, February.
    5. Cecilia Elena Rouse, 1998. "Do two-year colleges increase overall educational attainment? Evidence from the states," Journal of Policy Analysis and Management, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 17(4), pages 595-620.
    6. David Card & John E. DiNardo, 2002. "Skill-Biased Technological Change and Rising Wage Inequality: Some Problems and Puzzles," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 20(4), pages 733-783, October.
    7. Gonzalez, Arturo & Hilmer, Michael J., 2006. "The role of 2-year colleges in the improving situation of Hispanic postsecondary education," Economics of Education Review, Elsevier, vol. 25(3), pages 249-257, June.
    8. Stephen V. Cameron & James J. Heckman, 2001. "The Dynamics of Educational Attainment for Black, Hispanic, and White Males," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 109(3), pages 455-499, June.
    9. Julian R. Betts & Laurel L. McFarland, 1995. "Safe Port in a Storm: The Impact of Labor Market Conditions on Community College Enrollments," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 30(4), pages 741-765.
    10. Thomas J. Kane & Cecilia Elena Rouse, 1999. "The Community College: Educating Students at the Margin between College and Work," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 13(1), pages 63-84, Winter.
    11. Hilmer, Michael J., 1998. "Post-secondary fees and the decision to attend a university or a community college," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 67(3), pages 329-348, March.
    12. Rouse, Cecilia Elena, 1995. "Democratization or Diversion? The Effect of Community Colleges on Educational Attainment," Journal of Business & Economic Statistics, American Statistical Association, vol. 13(2), pages 217-224, April.
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