The Returns to College Persistence for Marginal Students: Regression Discontinuity Evidence from University Dismissal Policies

75 Pages Posted: 21 Mar 2016

See all articles by Ben Ost

Ben Ost

University of Illinois at Chicago

Weixiang Pan

Georgia State University

Douglas A. Webber

Temple University - Department of Economics

Abstract

We estimate the returns to college using administrative data on college enrollment matched to administrative data on weekly earnings. Utilizing the fact that colleges dismiss low-performing students based on exact GPA cutoffs, we use a regression discontinuity design to estimate the earnings impacts of college. Dismissed students are permitted to apply for readmission, but since relatively few do so, these students end up completing fewer years of school and are approximately 10 percentage points less likely to graduate college. Our estimates suggest that low-performing students (on the margin of college dismissal) derive substantial earnings benefits from college.

Keywords: academic probation, returns to college, regression discontinuity

JEL Classification: I21, I23, I26

Suggested Citation

Ost, Ben and Pan, Weixiang and Webber, Douglas A., The Returns to College Persistence for Marginal Students: Regression Discontinuity Evidence from University Dismissal Policies. IZA Discussion Paper No. 9799, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2750282

Ben Ost (Contact Author)

University of Illinois at Chicago ( email )

Weixiang Pan

Georgia State University ( email )

35 Broad Street
Atlanta, GA 30303-3083
United States

Douglas A. Webber

Temple University - Department of Economics ( email )

Philadelphia, PA 19122
United States

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