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A study exploring the correlation between expensive and elite colleges and future earnings raises intriguing questions about the efficacy of higher education. 

We here at Forster-Thomas are busy little bees, always improving ourselves for your future benefit.  You're welcome.  Recently, a study came to our attention that we thought was worth passing along to you.

The study looked at two things -- how much does a school's selectivity impact students' future earnings, and how much does a school's cost impact students' future earnings.  The correlation you probably expected to see was nowhere to be found.  At least for the class of 1972 (upon which this study is based), students who were accepted to Harvard but chose to go to Kenyon wound up earning the same amount, on average, as those who actually attended Harvard. 

 However, there was a correlation between cost and future earnings, meaning that those students who were accepted to Harvard but chose to go to San Diego State U. to save money wound up earning less in the future.

This finding, quite frankly, is strange, and it's hard to know exactly what to make of it.  It's easy enough to make up reasons for it to be true; richer students going in tend to earn more money going out, for example.  But what it really suggests is that further study is needed.

It would be particularly helpful to know how this has evolved over time, since 1972 was a period of relatively low cost AND selectivity for all colleges, and the entire admissions landscape has transformed rapidly since then.  We'll keep our ears to the ground for you.