As policymakers along with students and families demand information related to the return on investment in postsecondary education, it is critical to empirically assess the relationship between enrollment in higher education and future earnings. Previous research into the impact of college attendance on future income mostly focuses on selective institutions. This study contributes to this literature by analyzing the effect of enrolling in a Minority Serving Institution (MSI) on earnings compared to non-MSIs using propensity score matching and logistic regression. Using data derived from the College Scorecard and other sources, we find that those enrolling in some categories of MSIs have higher earnings when compared to those who enroll in non-MSIs. This is particularly true of Asian American Native American Pacific Islander Serving Institutions in most earnings categories as defined by the College Scorecard. Other MSI categories yielded mixed results. We do not find evidence for a negative relationship between MSI enrollment and different levels of future earnings. We conclude that enrollment in MSIs does not inhibit student success as defined by workforce earnings as is often argued by those critical of institutions that tend to be broad access.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- College Scorecard
- Minority Serving Institutions