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The Returns to College Admission for Academically Marginal Students

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  • Seth D. Zimmerman

Abstract

I combine a regression discontinuity design with rich data on academic and labor market outcomes for a large sample of Florida students to estimate the returns to college admission for academically marginal students. Students with grades just above a threshold for admissions eligibility at a large public university in Florida are much more likely to attend any university than below-threshold students. The marginal admission yields earnings gains of 22% between 8 and 14 years after high school completion. These gains outstrip the costs of college attendance, and they are largest for male students and free-lunch recipients.

Suggested Citation

  • Seth D. Zimmerman, 2014. "The Returns to College Admission for Academically Marginal Students," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 32(4), pages 711-754.
  • Handle: RePEc:ucp:jlabec:doi:10.1086/676661
    DOI: 10.1086/676661
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