The Assumed Benefits and Hidden Costs of Adult Learners’ College Enrollment

Kyung Nyun Kim, Rose Marie Baker

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

6 Scopus citations

Abstract

This study investigates the effects of adults’ enrollment in and graduation from a two-year college on their hourly wages and occupational status in U.S. by employing a growth curve model and a piecewise model. College enrollment reduced hourly wages and occupational status by 13.8 % and 2.74 points, respectively. Less-educated workers whose wages were the main source of income were more likely to compromise their occupational status for a better work-study balance and thus to realize wage penalties during schooling. While a two-year college degree acquired in adulthood had significant positive effects on hourly wages and occupational status, the said positive economic returns from the degree were moderated by their self-esteem.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)510-533
Number of pages24
JournalResearch in Higher Education
Volume56
Issue number5
DOIs
StatePublished - Oct 17 2015

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Education

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