Munich Personal RePEc Archive

For-Profit Student Heterogeneity

Chung, Anna (2008): For-Profit Student Heterogeneity.

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In this study, I use three data sets collected by the US Department of Education, National Center for Education Statistics (NCES): National Postsecondary Student Aid Studies of 1996, 2000 and 2004 (NPSAS:96,NPSAS:2000, and NPSAS:04) to derive the characteristics of the students in the US for-profit postsecondary educational sector and to identify the trends in these characteristics. I generate a collection of complex survey means and ratios and perform a series of t-tests to produce two sets of comparisons. First, I compare the for-profit students to the students in 2-year (and less-than-2-year) and 4-year non-profit schools. Second, I compare the students in less-than-2-year, 2-year, and 4-year for-profit colleges. These two different comparisons lead to three main conclusions. First, for-profit students are systematically and significantly different from their counterparts in non-profit 2-year and 4-year schools. Second, for-profit students are a very heterogeneous body. Students at less-than-2-year for-profit schools are different from the students in 2-year for-profit schools, and there is even a starker difference between the students in for-profit 4-year schools and the rest of the for-profit students. Finally, the increasing student population in for-profit 4-year schools drives the contemporary trends in proprietary student characteristics.

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