Posts published on April 12, 2009

College Completion More Likely If Students Start At Four Year College

Two eminent economists have studied the advantage for  high school students of enrolling at a 4 year rather than 2 year college.  Within six years, students who begin at a four-year college are twice as likely as those who begin at a two-year college to earn a degree.  And those students who have not yet completed a degree are much more likely to still be enrolled in college if they started at a four-year college than if they started at a two-year college. Ceceilia Rouse who is now  on President Obama’s Council of Economic Advisers writes :

Our human capital investment perspective underscores two key areas for policy consideration.  First, the idea of students making “investment” decisions when choosing whether or not to enroll or persist in college brings a customer orientation to the issue.  The human capital framework highlights how the needs of two-year students differ from those of their four-year peers, indicating that students at the two types of postsecondary institutions will not benefit from the same strategies regarding curriculum, teaching and learning, and student support services.  Second while there is arguably a need for increased funding for financial aid and institutional environment interventions, there is a lack of evidence of their effectiveness.  A publicly funded, aggressive research agenda for evaluating the effectiveness of interventions specifically targeted at two-year colleges and their students is therefore a must.

For the full report ,as an expansion of these direct quotes, above see