Do two-year colleges increase overall educational attainment? Evidence from the states

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Are two-or four-year colleges more efficient at increasing the educational attainment of young adults? I use state variation in two-and four-year college systems to address this question at the state level. I find that the composition and cost of higher education in a state affect the enrollment decisions of individuals in that state. Further, attending a two-year rather than a four-year college may lower the educational attainment of some students, but more students will benefit from the community college alternative. It also most likely costs the state more to educate a student in a four-year rather than a two-year college. As a result, community colleges provide a potentially efficient way to increase access to higher education as well as increase the overall educational attainment of a state's residents.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)595-620
Number of pages26
JournalJournal of Policy Analysis and Management
Issue number4
StatePublished - 1998

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • General Business, Management and Accounting
  • Sociology and Political Science
  • Public Administration


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