Post-Graduate Earnings, Job Security, and Major Choice Survey

Low-income, first-generation college students have far lower rates of baccalaureate degree completion and face more barriers to success. One explanation for these discrepancies is that students from less privileged socioeconomic backgrounds have not historically had the same information to navigate college and career selection as their more advantaged peers.

The Rutgers Education & Employment Research Center (EERC) conducted an online survey of 3,000 undergraduates at Rutgers’ three campuses to determine the influence that accessing labor market information has on student expectations about future earnings and their choice of college majors.

The study found that showing students labor market information reduces their earnings expectations, but it had little effect on major choice. Researchers also found that disclosure of earnings information changes expectations of future earnings more for students from higher socioeconomic backgrounds than for those from less advantaged backgrounds.

This project is supported by the Russell Sage Foundation