In order to present an estimation of the internal rate of return (IRR) to higher education in Colombia, we take advantage of recent updates on the methodological approach towards earnings equations. In order to overcome the criticism that surrounds interpretations of the education coefficient of Mincer equations as being the rate of return to investments in education we develop a more structured approach of estimation, which includes more accurate measures of labor income and the role of education costs and income taxes. Our results imply a lower rate of return than the ones found in the Colombian literature, obtained through conventional estimation of Mincer equations, and show that the IRR for higher education in Colombia lies somewhere between 0.074 and 0.128. The results vary according to the year analyzed and the individual's gender. © 2011 Taylor & Francis.