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Austin Community College Enrollment - Term Paper Example

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[course] What Are the Determinants of College Enrollment? Background With the economic crisis still in full swing, companies today have imposed stringent rules on personnel hiring to ensure that they are able to recruit only the best and the brightest of all applicants…
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Austin Community College Enrollment
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Download file to see previous pages With unemployment still at record high levels (Baker and Hassett), many job hunters go back to study postsecondary education in order to gain advantage over other applicants. Moreover, because greater educational attainment is related with higher salaries and lower unemployment rates, the Department of Labor believes that promoting degree attainment will be beneficial for the country’s economy (DeAngelo et al. 3). However, it is important to note that there is an ongoing debate whether college education is truly a wise investment for those who are seeking to earn more. For example, a 2011 New York Times article says that the sour economy has affected everyone, many students in postsecondary schooling have decided to postpone their education, while there are even more whose careers have gone astray (Rampell). The story is pretty common. These days one would hear of a chemistry major tending a bar, or perhaps someone with a major in History manning the cashier at Wal-Mart. Even college graduates, those who were supposedly most protected from the economic recession (thanks to the massive student aids offered by the government) have a very bleak outlook. Studies have shown that 17% of college graduates work in restaurants and bars while median salary has decreased between 2009 and 2010. As the country’s economic outlook is far from improving, and the cost of education is increasing, this is an issue worth exploring. The aim of this project is to determine what factors affect the college enrollment in the United States. This study utilizes a time-series analysis with observations from 1969 to 2009 included. Data on education was taken from the National Center for Education Statistics while employment data was taken from the Bureau of Labor Statistics. Data for income was derived from the calculations of the Bureau of Economic Analysis. The model (less constant and coefficients) for this analysis is: COLLEGE ENROLL = GRAD + AVG_ INCOME+%UNEMP The result or dependent variable, COL_ENROLL includes the total number of first-time freshmen who enrolled from the fall of 1969 to fall of 2009. It is calculated using the number of bachelor degrees conferred by higher education institutions, and expected post-graduation experiences (with unemployment and disposable income as proxy variables). GRAD, the first independent variable, represents the total number of bachelor’s degrees conferred by degree granting institutions. This data is compiled by the National Center for Education Statistics and it is vital because it shows how many students were retained by the school. Lesser number of bachelor’s degree holder can be used as an indicator of an institution’s quality of education (DeAngelo et al.). Moreover, low retention rates can mean that tuition fees are too high for students, and financial assistance is unavailable. The importance of utilizing GRAD is that low completion rates mean that there are more unskilled workers in the labor force, which in turn can cause loss of efficiency and increased cost for training for hiring firms. AVG_INCOME is the disposable personal income received by all types of employees in the United States. It is seasonally adjusted at annual rates and indexed at 2005 dollars. This data has been utilizes because income has been a significant incentive for workers to become part or to remain part of the workforce. Moreover, the ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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