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Health Benefits From Community College Accessibility

January 21, 2020

A new working paper from the National Bureau of Economic Research examined the relationship between college openings, college credential attainment and health behaviors and outcomes later in life. It used data from the U.S. Census Bureau to analyze whether increases in the numbers of community colleges and four-year institutions in a state contributed to higher levels of college attainment and better health later in life.

The accessibility of community colleges, the paper found, was associated with greater college attainment and employment and earnings, particularly among white and Hispanic people. The research also found a host of health benefits that were associated with the accessibility of two-year colleges, including less smoking, more exercise and improvements to self-reported health.

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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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