Timing Matters: How Delaying College Enrollment Affects Earnings Trajectories

Posted by Community College Research Center on April 2, 2019

The Community College Research Center (CCRC) at Teachers College, Columbia University is out with a new working paper that examines the effect of delaying college enrollment on earnings. Using data from the National Longitudinal Survey of Youth 1997 (NLSY97), the authors analyze students’ postsecondary and earnings outcomes up to 13 years post-high school graduation. The authors find that although students who delay college enrollment post-high school experience an earnings advantage over those who enroll “on-time,” after five years the two groups’ earnings reverse and on-time enrollers earn significantly more than delayers.


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