Why Have For-Profit Colleges Expanded so Rapidly? The Role of Labor Market Changes in Student Enrollment and Degree Completion at Two-Year Colleges

44 Pages Posted: 16 Jun 2013

See all articles by Gregory Gilpin

Gregory Gilpin

Montana State University - Bozeman

Joe Saunders

Independent

Christiana Stoddard

Montana State University - Bozeman

Date Written: June 14, 2013

Abstract

This paper investigates the six-fold increase in student enrollment and three-fold increase in degree completions at for-profit colleges over the last two decades. In particular, we examine the hypothesis that for-profit colleges have more flexibility to respond to market changes, attracting growing shares of students. Using a panel dataset, we examine the effects of local labor market conditions for broad occupation groups on student enrollment and degree completion in related majors. We find that the share of majors at for-profit colleges is related to employment growth and wages in related occupations, but the effects are negligible at community colleges.

Keywords: college enrollment, degree completion, for-profit colleges, community colleges, sector-specific employment changes

JEL Classification: H52, I23, J3, O4

Suggested Citation

Gilpin, Gregory and Saunders, Joe and Stoddard, Christiana, Why Have For-Profit Colleges Expanded so Rapidly? The Role of Labor Market Changes in Student Enrollment and Degree Completion at Two-Year Colleges (June 14, 2013). Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2279688 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.2279688

Gregory Gilpin (Contact Author)

Montana State University - Bozeman ( email )

Bozeman, MT 59717-2920
United States
406 551 4887 (Phone)

HOME PAGE: http://www.montana.edu/econ/gilpin

Joe Saunders

Independent ( email )

No Address Available

Christiana Stoddard

Montana State University - Bozeman ( email )

Bozeman, MT 59717-2920
United States

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