Disadvantaged students more likely to benefit from attending college, study finds

April 1, 2010

A new paper from the US suggests that students who are least likely to attend college gain the strongest economic benefits from obtaining a degree. The study reports that the college wage premium -- the average wage differential between high-school and college graduates -- appears to be strongest for people from socio-economic groups that are least likely to go to college in the first place. Drawing data from a pair of longitudinal surveys, the paper found that men and women with the lowest college-going propensities earned 30% and 40% more, respectively, after finishing college than their non-college peers from the ages of 29 and 32, while men and women with the highest college-going propensities earned wages 10% and 25% higher, respectively, than their non-college counterparts at those ages. The Chronicle of Higher Education (subscription required)