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More Specificity on Benefits of Community College

October 29, 2014

Disadvantaged students who enroll at community colleges and who would not otherwise have attended college are more likely to earn a bachelor's degree in the future, according to a newly released research paper. And while many policies focus on getting students into four-year colleges instead of community colleges, the study found that the vast majority of community college students do not suffer a penalty to their eventual likelihood of completing a bachelor's degree.

The study is based on the college outcomes of high school graduates from Chicago Public Schools. Sara Goldrick-Rab, a professor of educational policy studies and sociology at the University of Wisconsin at Madison; Jennie Brand, an associate professor of sociology at UCLA; and Fabian T. Pfeffer, a research assistant professor at the University of Michigan, are its authors.

"The anti-community college stigma is overblown and could do real harm to students who find community college to be a very good, low-cost option," Goldrick-Rab said in an email.

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