The Evaluation of Decision-Relevant Attributes of a Public System of Higher Education.

by James S. Dyer

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Summarizes an empirical evaluation of attributes of two alternative approaches to expanded public higher education in Texas: (1) expansion of existing senior institutions to meet projected enrollment for 1980, and (2) construction of new four-year public institutions. Costs and benefits of higher education were estimated on a per-student or per-graduate basis and were analyzed relative to both the individual and the state. Results indicate that the first alternative is cheaper but does not encourage low-income individuals to enroll in the system. Comparison of the effects of the alternatives on the state economy seems to indicate that expected costs would be greater than the benefits. Expansion of higher education does not seem to affect state tax revenue significantly. However, rate of return from higher education is expected to be approximately 10 percent for individuals. No economic values were estimated for "noneconomic" returns from higher education (e.g., increased voting rate and reduced unemployment). 53 pp. Bibliog.

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