by Sarah Welker
(Originally published in the Mississippi Economic Policy Center blog)
In part one, the MEPC blog looked at earnings gains that Mississippians experience from receiving a post-secondary degree. The post determined that persisting to a college degree can have real effects on wages for individuals and families.
In fact, the returns Mississippians experience from pursuing a community college certificate, 2-year degree or 4-year degree are above 23 other states. The Center on Law and Social Policy (CLASP) looked at the personal income gains in each state from students attaining an additional 100 certificates, 100 associate’s degrees and 100 bachelor’s degrees. Mississippi ranked 27th in personal income growth associated with these credential additions (see chart).
Gains from increasing credential attainment don’t just affect the individual. Increasing credential attainment also benefits families, employers and the state’s revenue generation. Mississippi also ranks even higher (19th) for state revenue increases from adding 100 certificates, associate’s degrees and bachelor’s degrees (see chart).
As a state, Mississippi stands to experience above average returns to contributions that increase post-secondary credential attainment among its citizens. The findings emphasize the need for steps that increase state revenue, so funding to higher education isn’t limited, tuitions don’t rise as rapidly as in recent years, and students aren’t faced with additional barriers in their desire for higher education. Unfortunately, Mississippi currently faces the opposite scenario.
Without a balanced approach that considers pathways to raising additional public revenue, the state is at risk of not reaping the full returns available to its residents and state resources from increasing post-secondary credential attainment.Source: Center on Law and Social Policy. The Credential Differential: The Public Return to Increasing Postsecondary Credential Attainment. Webinar on April 26, 2012.