Scott-Clayton, Judith E. (js3676)

Judith E. Scott-Clayton

Professor of Economics and Education
Senior Research Scholar, Community College Research Center (CCRC) Research Associate, National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER)

Office Location:

428 Building 528

Office Hours:

Please e-mail me to make an appointment.

Educational Background

Harvard Kennedy School of Government, Ph.D. in Public Policy (2009)
Wellesley College, B.A. in Sociology, summa cum laude (2000)

Scholarly Interests

Judith Scott-Clayton is an Associate Professor of Economics and Education at Teachers College, Columbia University, in the Department of Education Policy and Social Analysis (EPSA), where she directs the Economics & Education Program and teaches courses on the economics of education, labor economics and causal inference. She is also a Faculty Research Associate of the National Bureau of Economic Research, and a Senior Research Scholar at the Community College Research Center (CCRC). Scott-Clayton’s research lies at the intersection of labor economics and higher education, with a particular focus on financial aid, community colleges, and the outcomes of students after college, including labor market trajectories and patterns of student loan default. 

Scott-Clayton’s work crosses disciplinary boundaries and has been published in economics, education, and policy journals including the Journal of Public Economics, Journal of Human Resources, Educational Evaluation and Policy Analysis, Education Finance and Policy, and Economics of Education Review. Her work has been covered by national media including the New York Times, the Los Angeles Times, PBS, NPR, and CNN. She currently writes for the Brookings Institution's Evidence Speaks series, and has written for the New York Times’ Economix and Upshot blogs. Scott-Clayton actively participates in higher education policy discussions at the state and federal level, including testifying three times to the U.S. Senate as an expert on financial aid research and policy.

An updated CV and more information on recent activities, including publications and teaching, can be found via her personal website.

Related Articles

CCRC's Judith Scott-Clayton Testifies Before Senate Committee

The senior research associate at the Community College Research Center said easier access to financial aid improves college access.

Scott-Clayton Proposes Changes to Pell Grant System

The Assistant Professor at the Community College Research Center proposes major structural changes to improve college student outcomes.

Judy Scott-Clayton on College Rankings in the New York Times

Judith Scott-Clayton weighs in on the difficulty of ranking higher education institutions in an article in the New York Times.

TC's Scott-Clayton Comments on President Obama's College Affordability Plan

Judith Scott-Clayton, Assistant Professor in Economics & Education, discusses the factors that affect the cost of college attendance in a New York Times article about President Obama's college affordability plan.

Study: Remedial Courses Aren't Good College Prep, But May Serve Other Purposes

A study by TC's Judith Scott-Clayton and Olga Rodriguez found that, while remedial course are ineffective as college preparation, they can help students unlikely to get far in college.

Study Co-Authored by TC's Scott-Clayton Suggests State Aid Reforms

The study, released by The Brookings Institution, suggests states move beyond "merit" and "need-based" tuition aid and innovate new ways to encourage students to enroll and complete college.

Scott-Clayton Research Suggests Many College Students Misdiagnosed as Ill-Prepared

In the New York Times Economix blog, the assistant professor and researcher at TC's Community College Research Center, says research shows college-readiness tests are "only weakly related to college outcomes."

Judith Scott-Clayton: Are College Entrants Overdiagnosed as Needing Remedial Work?

The researcher and assistant professor at the Community College Research Center writes in the New York Times's "Economix" blog that early detection and treatment, in some cases, may harm the healthy by discouraging them from continuing in college.

Community Colleges Steer Students to Remedial Classes Who Don't Need Them

Two new studies from TC's Community College Research Center found that community colleges unnecessarily place tens of thousands of students in remedial classes.

CCRC's Scott-Clayton: Number of For-Profit Colleges Is Twice What's Reported

On the New York Times' Economix blog, Scott-Clayton writes that, counting those that don't receive federal aid, the reported number of for-profit colleges doubles.

Do Big-Time Sports Mean Big-Time Support for Universities?

The benefit of athletic programs to universities' bottom lines can be quantified, Judith Scott-Clayton, an Assistant Professor at TC's Community College Research Center, writes in the New York Times' Economix blog.

TC's Judith Scott-Clayton Finds Hours Worked By College Students Down Sharply from 2009

If students have relied on outside jobs to cover rising tuition costs, the drop in work hours due to a decline in available positions may be problematic, according to an article in Inside Higher Ed.

How much debt do students really take on for a bachelor's degree? (Hint: Probably not as much as you'd think.)

On the Economix blog of the New York Times, Judith Scott-Clayton, Judith Scott-Clayton, Assistant Professor of Economics and Education and a researcher at TC's Community College Research Center, reveals why student loan debt is generally less burdensome than reports of dramatic cases indicate.

Judith Scott-Clayton on New York Times' Economix Blog: "College is Cheaper Than You Think"

College sticker prices are higher than what most students pay, writes Scott-Clayton, an associate professor of economics and education and senior research associate at TC's Community College Research Center.

Education Leaders and Researchers Launch New Center on Education and Employment

Higher education experts from across the nation kicked off TC's new federally funded Center for Analysis of Postsecondary Education and Employment (CAPSEE), which will research how well different post-secondary pathways prepare students for the workforce.

A Hard Look at Financial Aid and Jobs Programs

Blogging for the New York Times, TC's Judith Scott-Clayton argues that now is not the time to reduce federal investments in financial aid and jobs programs -- but that in its current form, federal work-study may better serve the interests of privileged institutions than those of needy students.

How Long Does it Take to Earn a Four-Year Degree? For a Majority, Five Years

Judith Scott-Clayton, on the New York Times "Economix" blog, writes that even for students who attend college full-time, 45 percent take at least an extra year to complete a four-year degree.

TC's Scott-Clayton Joins Economists' Call to "Cut Pell Wisely"

Judith Scott-Clayton, assistant professor in economics and education and senior research associate at the Community College Research Center, signed an open letter to Gaston Caperton, president of The College Board, suggesting ways to cut the national Pell Grant program "wisely."

Student-Loan Debt at an All-Time High, Writes TC's Judith Scott-Clayton

In the New York Times' Economix blog, Scott-Clayton writes that "the increase has heightened longstanding concerns that college students are borrowing too much."

Scott-Clayton Advocates More Structure, Fewer Choices, for College Students

Blogging on The New York Times' "Economix" site, Judith Scott-Clayton, assistant professor at the Community College Research Center, says too much choice can lead to cognitive overload, procrastination and dissaatisfaction in college.

TC's Judith Scott-Clayton Writes About the Merits of For-Profit Colleges

Scott-Clayton will write periodically for the New York Times blog "Economix."

New York Times Cites Scott-Clayton Research

Citing research by Judith Scott-Clayton, Assistant Professor and senior researcher at TC's Community College Research Center, David Leonhardt of the New York Times writes that West Virginia's policy requiring scholarship students to remain on track to graduate in four years has lifted the four-year graduation rate of recipients by almost 7 percentage points.

International Conference Will Examine Issues of Validity, Educational Assessment, Equity and Accountability

International stakeholders will gather for a conference and institute, from March 28 through March 31, to discuss how standardized tests and other assessments are constructed, what they measure, and whether the results are appropriately used.

TC President, 11 Faculty Make 2014 EduScholar Public Influence Rankings

Rankings by Rick Hess, education blogger for the American Enterprise Institute, include President Susan Fuhrman and Thomas Bailey, Jeff Henig, Luis Huerta, Sharon Lynn Kagan, Hank Levin, Ernest Morrell, Aaron Pallas, Michael Rebell, Judith Scott-Clayton, Amy Stuart Wells and Penny Wohlstetter. Hess annually ranks university scholars by their contributions to public debates about education.

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