Distance to Promotion: Evidence from Military Graduate Education
20 Pages Posted: 27 Mar 2016 Last revised: 13 May 2017
Date Written: May 1, 2017
Using a unique dataset of US military officers enrolled in graduate programs at the Naval Postgraduate School, we find students enrolled in distance education programs are 19 percentage points less likely to graduate and have significantly lower GPAs than students enrolled in comparable traditional resident programs. Interestingly, distance education students receive a larger proportion of As on their courses. But, they are also more likely to fail and withdraw from their courses compared to their resident counterparts. The negative effects of distance education are worse for students enrolled in more technical engineering programs compared to less technical business programs. Although distance students are more likely to separate from the military after completing their education compared to traditional students, there are no significant differences in job promotion within the military between the two groups. Our results highlight the challenges of designing effective distance education programs in technical fields.
Keywords: Distance Education, Online Education, Returns to Education, Matching
JEL Classification: I20, I23
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation