NATIONAL BUREAU OF ECONOMIC RESEARCH
NATIONAL BUREAU OF ECONOMIC RESEARCH

Evaluating Student Outcomes at For-Profit Colleges

Kevin Lang, Russell Weinstein

NBER Working Paper No. 18201
Issued in June 2012
NBER Program(s):   ED   LS

Using the Beginning Postsecondary Student Survey, we examine the effect on earnings of obtaining certificates/degrees from for-profit, not-for-profit, and public institutions. Students who enter certificate programs at any type of institution do not gain from earning a certificate. However, among those entering associates degree programs, there are large, statistically significant benefits from obtaining certificates/degrees from public and not-for-profit but not from for-profit institutions. These results are robust to addressing selection into the labor market from college, and into positive earnings from unemployment, using imputation methods and quantile regression along with a maximum likelihood sample selection model.

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Document Object Identifier (DOI): 10.3386/w18201

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