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John Cheslock

Dr. John Cheslock

Professor of Education (HIED)

Phone: 814-865-8278

404B Rackley Building
University Park, PA 16802


  • Education Policy Studies


  • Higher Education Program


Dr. John J. Cheslock is a professor in the Education Policies Studies department at Penn State. Dr. Cheslock obtained his Ph.D. in Labor Economics from Cornell University, where he served as a research assistant at the Cornell Higher Education Research Institute (CHERI). After graduation, he was on the faculty of the University of Arizona for eight years.


Dr. Cheslock’s research examines the finances of colleges and universities through an analysis of specific revenue sources, underlying cost structures, and the economics associated with specific activities. His revenue-focused research primarily explores net tuition revenue, pricing strategies, and enrollment growth initiatives. His expenditure-focused research primarily examines the number and compensation of personnel. When investigating specific activities within higher education, he primarily analyzes two areas: online education and intercollegiate athletics.


In his studies of organizational finances, Dr. Cheslock often examines the considerable inequality that exists across higher education institutions. He specializes in econometric techniques that describe and decompose inequality patterns. His work is also informed by a range of theoretical traditions and his experiences as an academic administrator. Although his formal training concentrated on economic theory, he also employed ideas about sociology, management, and psychology. His applied understanding of organizational finances is shaped by past administrative roles where he was tasked with managing departmental budgets, directing a certificate program, creating of an online master’s program, and scaling a blended professional development academy.


Recent Publications


Cheslock, J. & Riggs, S. (in press). Ever-increasing listed tuition and institutional aid: The role of net price differentials by year of study. Educational Evaluation and Policy Analysis.


Cheslock, J. & Jaquette, O. (2022). Concentrated or fragmented? The U.S. market for online higher education. Research in Higher Education, 63(1), 33-59.


Cheslock, J., Kinser, K., Zipf, S., & Ra, E. (2021). Examining the OPM: Form, Function, and Policy Implications.


Cheslock, J., & Riggs, S. (2021). Psychology, market pressures, and pricing decisions in higher education: The case of the U.S. private sector. Higher Education, 81(4), 757-774.


Cheslock, J., & Shamekhi, S. (2020). Decomposing financial inequality across U.S. higher education institutions. Economics of Education Review, 78, 1-12.


Cheslock, J. (2019). Examining instructional spending for accountability and consumer information purposes. New York: Century Foundation.

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