Publication Date

February 2005


This study reviews and explores the varying effects of college quality caused by different measure of college quality, including Barron’s ratings, mean SAT scores of entering freshman class, tuition and fees, and Carnegie Classification. Data for this research come from NCES’ Baccalaureate & Beyond study. Results suggest that the estimated effect of college quality is sensitive to the measure of college quality, suggesting that different measures of college quality may provide partial explanation for the varying effect of college quality in previous studies. More importantly, the current analysis shows that the common wisdom that it pays to attend high-quality colleges is robust to these measures.


Suggested Citation
Zhang, L. (2005). Do measures of college quality matter? The effect of college quality on graduates’ earnings (CHERI Working Paper #64). Retrieved [insert date], from Cornell University, ILR School site:

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