Judith Scott-Clayton



Office: Building 528, Rm. 428

Phone: (212) 678-3478

E-mail: scott-clayton (at) tc.columbia.edu

Mailing: Judith Scott-Clayton, Teachers College - Columbia Univ., 525 W. 120th Street, Box 174, New York, NY 10027

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Judith Scott-Clayton is a 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 policy, 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 has written for the Brookings Institution's Evidence Speaks series, as well as 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 four times (most recently in 2020) to the U.S. Senate as an expert on financial aid research and policy.

Scott-Clayton holds a B.A. from Wellesley College and a Ph.D. in Public Policy from Harvard University.


Recent Policy Comments

Recent Working Papers and Publications

Popular Policy Briefs


  • Department of Education Policy & Social Analysis, Teachers College Columbia University: The Department of Education Policy and Social Analysis (EPSA) has four programs: Education Policy, Economics and Education, Sociology and Education, and Politics and Education. I direct the M.A., Ed.M, and Ph.D. programs in Economics and Education. Considering graduate study? Click one of the links to learn more & apply!

  • CCRC: The Community College Research Center (CCRC) has been a leading independent authority in the field of community college research and reform for over 20 years. Their work provides a foundation for innovations in policy and practice that help give every community college student the best chance of success. I am a senior research associate at the center, where my projects have focused on placement testing, developmental education, financial aid, and labor market outcomes after college.

  • The Brookings Institution: I served as a non-resident Senior Fellow of the Brookings Institution from 2016-2018. During this time I wrote reports and policy notes four times per year through their recently-concluded Evidence Speaks series, a weekly series of reports and notes by a standing panel of distinguished researchers with a commitment to elevating the role of methodologically rigorous research in the formation of education and social policy.

  • The National Bureau of Economic Research: I am a faculty research associate of the NBER, a private, non-profit, non-partisan organization dedicated to conducting economic research and to disseminating research findings among academics and the public. I disseminate my research in progress through the NBER Working Paper series and attend NBER conferences throughout the year.