In this economic analysis, The Hamilton Project explores how college majors and occupations interact to produce a wide range of labor market outcomes. Different career paths and the associated earnings differences for students with the same college major are pervasive and important for understanding both the benefits of college majors and of college itself.
In this set of eight facts, the Hamilton Project offers evidence of the economic value of a postsecondary education. These facts document who is enrolling in and completing – or dropping out of – postsecondary programs and how this has changed over time. While there continues to be a sizeable earnings premium for postsecondary degree holders, these facts also describe the distribution of debt and default among student borrowers.
In this proposal, the author shows that many students who perform at or below average in high school are not prepared for college and do not attain postsecondary degrees or high-value certificates. The author proposes a set of policies and practices, informed by his multimethod evaluation of the Florida College and Career Initiative (FCCRI), that would improve college and career outcomes at relatively low cost.
While there is a popular perception of a national teacher shortage, the authors demonstrate that teacher shortages are in fact localized and subject-specific. Teacher hiring and retention are often difficult for schools that serve low-income students as well as in particular fields like STEM and special education. The authors propose complementary strategies that K-12 school districts, teacher education programs, and regulatory authorities can use to address these shortages.
Currently, Pell Grants are designed to meet the needs of recent high school graduates. In this proposal, Turner explores the possibility of better tailoring Pell Grant eligibility and needs assessment to the circumstances of the adult unemployed. In addition to improving Pell access for these individuals, facilitating better matches between unemployment insurance recipients and post-secondary programs has the potential to enhance long-term labor market outcomes, which Turner proposes to carefully evaluate.
In this paper, the authors propose a risk-sharing system for the student loan program. Institutions with low repayment rates, as measured by a new cohort-based repayment metric, would be asked to pay a fee in proportion to the degree to which they miss repayment rate targets. This fee is intended to be a nudge to encourage institutions to improve matching between students and programs, program quality, completion, and other factors that relate to repayment outcomes.