This article discusses the recent expansion and structural changes in the Turkish higher education and analyses a number of economic consequences in terms of equity and returns across regions. First, we outline the institutional background of the expansion in order to identify various re-distributive dimensions of the policy. Using Household Labor Force Surveys between 2004 and 2013, we explore whether college proximity affects local families' access to college. Our results show that this policy had an equity enhancing effect for daughters of low-educated households in some regions with large-scale expansion. Second, we investigate whether the compositional change has affected local returns to college degrees and contributed to the relative convergence across regions. The estimation results show that despite the increase in college graduates, returns in terms of wages at the local level has increased increasing and that some regional convergence was attained. (C) 2017 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.