Who Gains the Most From Going to College?

April 1, 2010

Those who are the least likely to go to college are the most likely to gain economically from doing so, according to research being published today in American Sociological Review. The economic value of a college degree is nearly twice as high for women from disadvantaged backgrounds as for women from privileged backgrounds, the study says. For disadvantaged men, a college education is worth three times more than is the case for privileged college-goers. The study was conducted by Jennie E. Brand, assistant professor of sociology at the University of California at Los Angeles, and Yu Xie, the Otis Dudley Duncan Distinguished University Professor of Sociology at the University of Michigan. Brand and Xie used databases to track 12,686 Americans who were 14 to 22 years old when they were first interviewed in 1979 and who were followed through 2008.

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