In August 2012, the National Bureau of Economic Research released a working paper titled "The Labor Market Returns to a For-Profit College Education." This report serves as a compelling counterpoint to the negative perception of for-profit education set forth in the Harkin report. The report compared the earning gains of individuals who enroll in associate degree programs in for-profit schools with those who enrolled in public community colleges. The analysis found that students enrolling in associate programs at for-profit schools experienced earnings gains of between 6 to 8 percent, consistent with students in public community colleges. And those students who graduated experienced earnings gains of about 22 percent, or about 11 percent per year of education. These gains can be shown to be higher than those for public sector graduates. Moreover, graduates of for-profits work more hours and are more likely to work full-time as compared to community college alumni. The results of this report are consistent with the recent Harvard and GAO reports regarding student outcomes and present a much more positive and accurate view of the sector.
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NBER report serves as a compelling counterpoint to the Harkin report
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