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College Choice

A college education has long been viewed as the path toward higher lifetime earnings, lower probability of unemployment, and desirable nonpecuniary job characteristics. Over the course of a worker’s career, on average, a college graduate earns $500,000 more than a high school graduate. Recent data from the U.S. Department of Labor show that the unemployment rate for college-educated workers is 3.8% compared with 7.6% for all workers and 11.1% for those without a high school degree.

There are numerous decisions that prospective college students must make as they consider higher education options. Students must decide whether to attend a 2-year or a 4-year college, what type of college to apply to (e.g., public or private, or highly competitive or less competitive), which college to attend among ...

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