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Return on Investment

NEW: Labor Market Impacts of the GED® Test Credential on High School Dropouts: Longitudinal Evidence from NLSY97

This study utilizes a new wave of data from the National Longitudinal Survey of Youth 1997 (NLSY97), a national longitudinal study sponsored by the U.S. Department of Labor, to examine the impacts of the GED test credential on the labor market outcomes of high school dropouts. The analyses take advantage of 12 years of data to explicitly model the impacts of the acquisition of a GED test credential on the hourly wages and work hours of youth who did not complete a high school education and to explore the immediate impact on occupational change upon obtaining a GED test credential.

Legislators want to know the return on investment of adult education and literacy to adult learners, to their communities, and to society. Consider how you can demonstrate return on investment for your program.

Research and Reports

Economic and Noneconomic Outcomes for GED Credential Recipients
Do GED credential recipients earn as much as high school graduates? How do adults with a GED credential compare to high school dropouts or traditional high school graduates with respect to earnings? In 2008 GED Testing Service published a research study on economic and noneconomic outcomes for GED credential recipients. The study used National Assessment of Adult Literacy (NAAL, 2003) data for analysis. For more information contact Margaret Patterson, GED Testing Service Director of Research and Psychometrics.

The Return on Investment from Adult Education and Training: Measuring the Economic Impact of a Better Educated and Trained U.S. Workforce
The Return on Investment from Adult Education and Training: Measuring the Economic Impact of a Better Educated and Trained U.S. Workforce asserts that billions of dollars could be earned, saved, and pumped back into the struggling economy as a result of investments in effective and efficient workforce development programs. Use this paper to find a wealth of facts that make the case for increased investment in adult education.

Young GED® Credential Recipients in the 21st Century: A Snapshot from NLSY97
Based on a new wave of NLSY data (NLSY97), this paper examines how GED credential recipients compare with other young adults who had not completed a high school education and with traditional high school graduates on their labor market performance. The study found that GED credential recipients’ hourly compensation on their most recent job is much higher than that of the high school dropouts and is closer to that of the high school graduates, both of which are in the $14 range. For more findings and implications for policy and research, access the report linked above.

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