College pays — for good students

College is a good investment for good students, but not for everyone, an economist advises. About one third  of high school graduates have the academic skills, intelligence and motivation to succeed at a four-year college.  The rest are more likely to succeed in job training at a community college or  career college.

Also on Community College Spotlight:  As tuition rises, colleges and universities hire more administrators.

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  1. See post below on ACT scores and college readiness; I’m sure it’s the same with SAT scores. Below a certain score, college success isn’t likely, particularly in demanding fields. The “college premium” is correlation, not causation. Those in the top quarter or third of the HS grads (by ACT/SAT) are inherently different from the rest; college doesn’t create the difference.

  2. Cranberry says:

    The top students in the pool are increasingly not paying the same tuition at many colleges, due to merit scholarships. Thus, for the top students the return is greater on each dollar spent to secure an education.