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Federal Data Shows Earnings Gap Between Public, For-Profit Career Training Programs

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New data released today by the U.S. Department of Education shows students — in New Hampshire and elsewhere — who graduate from career training programs at public universities tend to earn more than those who attended private, for-profit institutions.

Nationwide, students who graduated from a career training program at a public institution, like a community college, made an average of $9,000 more a year in 2014 than graduates of for-profit institutions.

In New Hampshire, the data show a similar trend. For instance, students who graduated with a medical assistant certificate from River Valley Community College made an average of about $28,000 a year. Students who completed a similar medical assistant program at the now-defunct, for-profit Mount Washington College were making roughly $19,000 a year.

There are not currently any for-profit colleges operating in the state.

The department plans to use the data to determine whether colleges should remain eligible for federal student aid programs.

Jason Moon is a senior reporter and producer on the Document team. He has created longform narrative podcast series on topics ranging from unsolved murders, to presidential elections, to secret lists of police officers.

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