Net Cost of Postsecondary Non-Completion in Ontario - SRDC

Net Cost of Postsecondary Non-Completion in Ontario

Students enrolling in postsecondary programs without graduating is often portrayed as a policy problem. It is seen as costly; costly to government as they invest heavily in postsecondary education (PSE); costly for students who discontinue their own education and do not reap the benefits associated with a credential; and costly to the economy in the form of net lower skills in the workforce, a weaker match between the individual and the labour market, and even reduced participation, all yielding lower earnings. SRDC undertook earlier work to define more clearly what non‐completion comprises and analyze its consequences for outcomes such as labour market earnings. This project continues this line of research by developing and locating the data to populate a cost-benefit analysis framework that monetizes the net costs of non-completion to students, institutions, governments, and society and compares them to those attributable to completion of credentials by comparable individuals. A key intention is to estimate “savings” that might be generated from interventions that can increase postsecondary completion. The potential for savings could justify the testing of different potential interventions. This project is in its final stage, completing a wide-ranging cost-benefit analysis of non-completion.

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