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Little Interest in Earnings Data Among Prospective Students

July 12, 2017

A new study from the Urban Institute found limited interest among prospective college students about graduates' labor market outcomes, despite the data's appeal to policy makers and researchers.

The institute created an informational website that described program-level earnings and other data points, which it then introduced to students at 25 high schools in Virginia. In addition to finding limited use of the tool by students, the study found little impact on the decisions made by those who did use it.

"The rollout of the tool had no detectable impact on students," according to the study. "Students from schools that received the treatment version of the website did not choose majors with higher average wages or institutions that had higher graduation rates or lower net prices than did students who received the control version."

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Paul Fain

Paul Fain, Contributing Editor, came to Inside Higher Ed in September 2011, after a six-year stint covering leadership and finance for The Chronicle of Higher Education. Paul has also worked in higher ed P.R., with Widmeyer Communications, but couldn't stay away from reporting. A former staff writer for C-VILLE Weekly, a newspaper in Charlottesville, Va., Paul has written for The New York Times, Washington City Paper and Mother Jones. He's won a few journalism awards, including one for beat reporting from the Education Writers Association and the Dick Schaap Excellence in Sports Journalism Award. Paul got hooked on journalism while working too many hours at The Review, the student newspaper at the University of Delaware, where he earned a degree in political science in 1996. A native of Dayton, Ohio, and a long-suffering fan of the Cincinnati Bengals, Fain plays guitar in a band with more possible names than polished songs.

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