Research has consistently shown that older students—those who enter college for the first time at age 25 or older—are less likely to complete a degree or certificate than their younger peers. In this paper, the authors estimate a single-risk discrete-time hazard model using transcript data on a cohort of first-time community college students in Florida to compare the educational outcomes of older and traditional-age students.
Contrary to conventional wisdom, the authors’ results suggest that after controlling for mathematics ability, older students enrolled in Florida community colleges had a higher conditional probability of completing a degree or certificate in the observed event period.
A version of this paper appears in Educational Evaluation and Policy Analysis, vol. 29.