The Value of College- its Not Just Correlation By David Leonhardtt (1).pptx
The Value of College: It’s
Not Just Correlation
By David Leonhardt
“Comparing the earnings of college
graduates and nongraduates is an
imperfect way of measuring the value of
“The useful comparison is not between those who
do and do not attend college but, rather,
between equally intelligent students who do and
do not choose to attend college.”
“College brings a large return to the vast majority
of students who attend it.”
“College matters. It causes real, large increases in
lifetime earnings, both for average students and
those teetering between going and not going to
college. And it has other benefits too.”
Research & Studies
• Study 1- David Card of the University of California, Berkeley —
compared young men who happened to live close to a college
with young men who did not.
– Geography- young men who lived close to campus attend college in
• Study 2- paper, by Seth Zimmerman, examines students on the
margin of attending a four-year college and not attending one.
– found that the admitted students earned significantly more.
• Study 3- examined twins and siblings.
– those with more education earned more.
Median Weekly Earnings
• Doctoral Degree- $1,883
• Professional Degree- $1,861
• Master’s degree- $1,497
• Bachelor’s degree- $1,248
• Associate’s Degree- $887
• Some College, no degree- $883
• High school diploma- $746
• Less than a high school
• Doctoral Degree- 1.1%
• Professional Degree- 1.6%
• Master’s degree- 2%
• Bachelor’s degree- 2.2%
• Associate’s Degree- 2.7%
• Some College, no degree- 3.3%
• High school diploma- 3.7%
• Less than a high school
• “college will not pay off for everyone who graduates from one.”
• …..” no investment brings a guaranteed return”….
• “people need to be careful about attending a college with a high dropout
rate. Too many colleges fall into this category, and racking up debt without
earning a degree is a terrible combination.”
The implications for businesses:
Attending college has positive implications for
businesses since these students are
considered more competent, problem solvers,
Also, they can bring better returns and profits to
companies compared to those who do not
In other words, students learn new skills that
improve business performance and achieve
better results for employees and the organization.
• “research on the value of college comes to
the same conclusion as the straightforward
data comparing the pay of graduates and
nongraduates. For the vast majority of
people, college pays off. “
• “everyone with the resources to send
children to college does so — including those
who say they’re skeptical of its worth.”
• “low-income parents say that one of their
highest goals in life is to send their children to
• “the collective behavior of millions of people
says as much about the value of education
as any regression analysis.”
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