Coming and going: Encouraging geographic mobility at college entry and exit to lift wages

Students Asking Question Whilst Attending Lecture On Campus


Geography is an important part of economic opportunity. This is increasingly true in the labor market for skilled workers. Due to monetary and nonmonetary costs of migration, college attendance is less likely for those who live farther from postsecondary institutions. The college educated have also become increasingly concentrated in larger labor markets, while at the same time mobility across markets is falling. I propose two modifications to the existing Federal Student Aid programs to level the playing field on these dimensions. At college entry, I propose creating large supplements to the Federal Pell Grant Program to help students who do not have access to a local college overcome the high implied costs of relocating for college. I then propose that college leavers receive extended automatic deferments to Federal Student Loan (FSL) repayment when relocating across markets to start their careers.