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The Investment Returns of a College Degree


Published January 6, 2022

Caroline Hoxby explains the data behind the investment returns of a college degree. She reviews important data concepts such as “value-added” and “social investment.” An evaluation of the data show that for students going to somewhat selective colleges, investments in college education are productive.

Discussion Questions:

  1. What challenges do low-income, high-achieving students face when applying to college?
  2. What resources might be useful to low-income, high-achieving students applying to college?

Additional resources:

  • Read “What High-Achieving Low-Income Students Know About College,” by Caroline Hoxby and Sarah Turner. Available here.
  • Read “Expanding College Opportunities for High-Achieving Low-Income Students,” by Caroline Hoxby and Sarah Turner Available here.
  • Read “The Right way to Capture College ‘Opportunity’” by Caroline Hoxby and Sarah Turner via Education Next. Available here.