Publication Date

September 2005


This paper employs a large panel dataset to determine whether potential enrollees in specific two-year college programs respond differently to tuition changes at community colleges and nearby public four-year colleges. Campus-level estimations reveal that enrollment in programs preparing students for transfer to four-year college is very responsive to two-year tuition changes and somewhat responsive to four-year tuition changes, while enrollment in occupational education programs is not significantly responsive to either two-year college or four-year college tuition changes. Student-level estimations reveal that new community college students are significantly more likely to enroll in academic (baccalaureate-oriented) programs when four-year tuition is high and two-year tuition is low, suggesting academic programs serve as a substitute for direct four-year college entry.


Suggested Citation
Nutting, A. (2005) Relative tuition levels and the educational focus of first-time fulltime community college students (CHERI Working Paper #81). Retrieved [insert date], from Cornell University, ILR School site:

Required Publisher Statement
Published by the Cornell Higher Education Research Institute, Cornell University.