Insights / Research BriefMay 08, 2024

Marginal Returns to Public Universities

The typical marginally admitted university student completes an additional year of four-year education, is 12 percentage points more likely to earn a bachelor’s degree, and eventually earns 5-10 percent more than their marginally rejected but otherwise identical counterpart. Cost-benefit calculations show positive internal rates of return for students, society, and the government (which supplies financial aid).
Based on BFI Working Paper 2024-35, “Marginal Returns to Public Universities”