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Who merits financial aid? Massachusetts? Adams scholarship

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  • Joshua Goodman

    ()
    (Columbia University - Department of Economics)

Abstract

The majority of states in the U.S. now fund merit-based financial aid programs, the effects of which depend on how strongly students react to changes in college costs. I estimate such reactions using quasi-experimental aspects of a recent Massachusetts merit scholarship program intended to attract talented students to the state public colleges. This paper is the first to document heterogeneity in price sensitivity among students of varying academic abilities. My primary result is that, in spite of its small monetary value, the scholarship induced 6% of winners to choose four-year public colleges over four-year private colleges, the average of a large effect on the lowest ability winners and no effect on the highest ability winners. The bulk of funds nonetheless flowed to students who would have attended public colleges anyway, and the scholarship had no effect on the overall college attendance rate, which for winners was already above 90%. These findings have implications for the design of future government-sponsored financial aid programs.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by Columbia University, Department of Economics in its series Discussion Papers with number 0607-13.

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Length: 46 pages
Date of creation: 2007
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:clu:wpaper:0607-13

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Cited by:
  1. Gabrielle Fack & Julien Grenet, 2013. "Improving College Access and Success for Low-Income Students: Evidence from a Large Need-based Grant Program," PSE Working Papers halshs-00870546, HAL.
  2. Michael F. Lovenheim & Emily G. Owens, 2013. "Does Federal Financial Aid Affect College Enrollment? Evidence from Drug Offenders and the Higher Education Act of 1998," NBER Working Papers 18749, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  3. Maria D. Fitzpatrick & Damon Jones, 2012. "Higher Education, Merit-Based Scholarships and Post-Baccalaureate Migration," NBER Working Papers 18530, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  4. Cohodes, Sarah & Goodman, Joshua, 2013. "Merit Aid, College Quality and College Completion: Massachusetts' Adams Scholarship as an In-Kind Subsidy," Working Paper Series rwp13-005, Harvard University, John F. Kennedy School of Government.
  5. David Deming & Susan Dynarski, 2009. "Into College, Out of Poverty? Policies to Increase the Postsecondary Attainment of the Poor," NBER Working Papers 15387, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  6. Timothy J. Bartik & Marta Lachowska, 2014. "The Effects of Doubling Instruction Efforts on Middle School Students' Achievement: Evidence from a Multiyear Regression-Discontinuity Design," Upjohn Working Papers and Journal Articles 14-205, W.E. Upjohn Institute for Employment Research.
  7. David Gershkoff Slusky, 2012. "Consequences of the expansion of employer sponsored health insurance to dependent young adults," Working Papers 1437, Princeton University, Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs, Center for Health and Wellbeing..
  8. David Deming & Susan Dynarski, 2010. "College Aid," NBER Chapters, in: Targeting Investments in Children: Fighting Poverty When Resources are Limited, pages 283-302 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  9. Lovenheim, Michael F. & Owens, Emily G., 2014. "Does federal financial aid affect college enrollment? Evidence from drug offenders and the Higher Education Act of 1998," Journal of Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 81(C), pages 1-13.
  10. Gabrielle Fack & Julien Grenet, 2013. "Improving college access and success for low-income students: Evidence from a large need-based grant program," Economics Working Papers 1393, Department of Economics and Business, Universitat Pompeu Fabra.
  11. Sjoquist, David L. & Winters, John V., 2013. "The effects of HOPE on post-college retention in the Georgia workforce," Regional Science and Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 43(3), pages 479-490.
  12. David L. Sjoquist & John V. Winters, 2013. "State Merit-Aid Programs and College Major: A Focus on Stem," Economics Working Paper Series 1406, Oklahoma State University, Department of Economics and Legal Studies in Business.
  13. repec:hal:wpaper:halshs-00870546 is not listed on IDEAS
  14. Bruce, Donald J. & Carruthers, Celeste K., 2014. "Jackpot? The impact of lottery scholarships on enrollment in Tennessee," Journal of Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 81(C), pages 30-44.
  15. Rajashri Chakrabarti & Joydeep Roy, 2013. "Merit aid, student mobility, and the role of college selectivity," Staff Reports 641, Federal Reserve Bank of New York.
  16. Sjoquist, David L. & Winters, John V., 2012. "State Merit-based Financial Aid Programs and College Attainment," IZA Discussion Papers 6801, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).

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