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Access to Four-Year Public Colleges and Degree Completion

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  • Joshua Goodman
  • Michael Hurwitz
  • Jonathan Smith

Abstract

Does access to four-year colleges affect degree completion for students who would otherwise attend two-year colleges? Admission to Georgia?s four-year public sector requires minimum SAT scores. Regression discontinuity estimates show that access to this sector increases four-year college enrollment and college quality, largely by diverting students from two-year colleges. Access substantially increases bachelor?s degree completion rates for these relatively low-skilled students. SAT retaking behavior suggests students value access to four-year public colleges, though perhaps less than they should. Our results imply that absolute college quality matters more than match quality and suggest potential unintended consequences of free community college proposals.

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  • Joshua Goodman & Michael Hurwitz & Jonathan Smith, "undated". "Access to Four-Year Public Colleges and Degree Completion," Working Paper 175226, Harvard University OpenScholar.
  • Handle: RePEc:qsh:wpaper:175226
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    File URL: http://scholar.harvard.edu/joshuagoodman/node/175226
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    Cited by:

    1. Eleanor Wiske Dillon & Jeffrey Andrew Smith, 2020. "The Consequences of Academic Match between Students and Colleges," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 55(3), pages 767-808.
    2. Juliana Londono-Velez & Catherine Rodriguez & Fabio Sánchez?, 2017. "The Intended and Unintended Impacts of a Merit-Based Financial Aid Program for the Poor: The Case of Ser Pilo Paga," Documentos CEDE 015466, Universidad de los Andes – Facultad de Economía – CEDE.
    3. Gurantz, Oded & Pender, Matea & Mabel, Zachary & Larson, Cassandra & Bettinger, Eric, 2020. "Virtual advising for high-achieving high school students," Economics of Education Review, Elsevier, vol. 75(C).
    4. Benjamin Castleman & Joshua Goodman, 2018. "Intensive College Counseling and the Enrollment and Persistence of Low-Income Students," Education Finance and Policy, MIT Press, vol. 13(1), pages 19-41, Winter.
    5. Celeste K. Carruthers & Jilleah G. Welch, 2015. "Not Whether, but Where? Pell Grants and College Choices," Working Papers 2015-04, University of Tennessee, Department of Economics, revised 28 Sep 2015.
    6. Brian Duncan & Hani Mansour & Bryson Rintala, 2019. "Weighing The Military Option: The Effects Of Wartime Conditions On Investments In Human Capital," Economic Inquiry, Western Economic Association International, vol. 57(1), pages 264-282, January.
    7. Jack Mountjoy & Brent Hickman, 2020. "The Returns to College(s): Estimating Value-Added and Match Effects in Higher Education," Working Papers 2020-08, Becker Friedman Institute for Research In Economics.
    8. Carruthers, Celeste K. & Welch, Jilleah G., 2019. "Not whether, but where? Pell grants and college choices," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 172(C), pages 1-19.
    9. Jonathan Smith & Joshua Goodman & Michael Hurwitz, 2020. "The Economic Impact of Access to Public Four-Year Colleges," NBER Working Papers 27177, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.

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    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • I2 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Education
    • I23 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Education - - - Higher Education; Research Institutions
    • J24 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demand and Supply of Labor - - - Human Capital; Skills; Occupational Choice; Labor Productivity

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