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Miles to go before I learn: The effect of travel distance on the mature person's choice of a community college

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  • Jepsen, Christopher
  • Montgomery, Mark

Abstract

The substantial literature on access to higher education has a narrow focus: the effect of tuition on the enrollment decisions of 18-year-olds seeking bachelors degrees. But for non-traditional (i.e. older) students who tend to prefer community college, access is more about a school's location than about its tuition and fees. Using data on over 150,000 mature workers (aged 25 to 49) in the Greater Baltimore area, we analyze the impact of travel distance on community college enrollment decisions. We find that distance is a highly statistically significant factor in deciding whether to enroll in community college, and in which school to choose. Simulations of the model suggest that if the typical resident had to travel three additional miles from home to the nearest college, enrollment could drop by as much as 14%.

Suggested Citation

  • Jepsen, Christopher & Montgomery, Mark, 2009. "Miles to go before I learn: The effect of travel distance on the mature person's choice of a community college," Journal of Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 65(1), pages 64-73, January.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:juecon:v:65:y:2009:i:1:p:64-73
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    Cited by:

    1. Cohen-Zada, Danny & Elder, Todd, 2009. "Historical religious concentrations and the effects of Catholic schooling," Journal of Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 66(1), pages 65-74, July.
    2. William W. Olney, 2013. "Immigration And Firm Expansion," Journal of Regional Science, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 53(1), pages 142-157, February.
    3. Doyle, William R. & Skinner, Benjamin T., 2016. "Estimating the education-earnings equation using geographic variation," Economics of Education Review, Elsevier, vol. 53(C), pages 254-267.
    4. Jepsen, Christopher & Montgomery, Mark, 2012. "Back to school: An application of human capital theory for mature workers," Economics of Education Review, Elsevier, vol. 31(1), pages 168-178.
    5. LaLumia, Sara, 2012. "Tax Preferences for Higher Education and Adult College Enrollment," National Tax Journal, National Tax Association, vol. 65(1), pages 59-89, March.
    6. Hochman, Oded, 2011. "Efficient agglomeration of spatial clubs," Journal of Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 69(1), pages 118-135, January.
    7. Eisenkopf, Gerald & Wohlschlegel, Ansgar, 2012. "Regulation in the market for education and optimal choice of curriculum," Journal of Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 71(1), pages 53-65.
    8. repec:spr:demogr:v:54:y:2017:i:3:d:10.1007_s13524-017-0570-6 is not listed on IDEAS
    9. Tuomo Suhonen, 2012. "The role of distances and parents’ educational background in university field of study choice," ERSA conference papers ersa12p751, European Regional Science Association.
    10. Gibbons, Stephen & Vignoles, Anna, 2012. "Geography, choice and participation in higher education in England," Regional Science and Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 42(1-2), pages 98-113.

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