Investment Returns to College Education in the United States
Tam Vu, Tom DeWitt, Eric Im

The research examines the earnings of associate’s degree versus bachelor’s degreeholders in the U.S. A panel dataset on the number of graduates from the two modes of educationfor fifty states and Washington D.C.during 2004-2012is used.The results show that there is no statistical difference between the two levels of education. The paper then report the results from a non-regression approach of calculating thefinancial costs of attending two more school years and opportunity cost of income. The financial costs areaverage income forgonedivided by the number of yearsand subtracted from the average per capita income. The results confirm the regression results that these adjusted per capita incomes for the two levels of education appear not to be statistically different from each other for any time horizon between nine to twelve years. For the time horizon less than nine years, the adjusted per capita income of a bachelor’s degree holder seems to be lower than that of an associate’s degree holder.

Full Text: PDF     DOI: 10.15640/jibe.v5n2a2