An Exploratory Analysis of the Relationship Between Student Earnings and zpost-Secondary Retention

Grants and Contracts Details


The purpose of this small grant is to obtain data and conduct preliminary analysis on the relationship between student earnings and retention in Kentucky post-secondary institutions. Kentucky's post-secondary attendance rates are comparable with the national average, but its completion rates for Associate's degrees and Bachelor's degrees are well below the national average. We propose exploring the extent to which student earnings and employment are associated with student retention in Kentucky post-secondary institutions, as this relationship has not been explored previously. We use administrative data from post-secondary institutions matched with administrative earnings data from the state's unemployment insurance system. In these data we observe have multiple observations for each student both before and after they attend post-secondary schooling. We use multivariate regression analysis to study the relationship between student earnings and retention. The research project has implications for poverty policy because poverty status is highly correlated with years of completed schooling. Therefore, it is important to understand the extent to which post-secondary students in Kentucky sacrifice potential long-term increases in earnings for short-run gains in earnings while enrolled in post-secondary education.
Effective start/end date1/1/108/15/10


  • Assistant Secretary for Planning and Evaluation


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