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Financial Aid and Students' College Decisions: Evidence from the District of Columbia's Tuition Assistance Grant Program

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  • Katharine Abraham
  • Melissa A. Clark

Abstract

The District of Columbia's Tuition Assistance Grant Program (DCTAG), instituted in 1999, allows DC residents to attend public colleges and universities throughout the country at considerably lower in-state tuition rates. We use the sharp decline in the price of public colleges and universities faced by residents of the District of Columbia under DCTAG to estimate the effects of price on students' college application and enrollment decisions. Using a sample of students from nearby large cities as a control group, we find that the number and share of DC residents applying to four-year colleges increased substantially under the program, and students were considerably more likely to apply to colleges that were eligible for the subsidy. Freshmen enrollments of DC residents also increased substantially at eligible institutions, although the effect on overall freshmen enrollments of DC residents was fairly modest, suggesting that in its first year the subsidy had more of an impact on where students chose to attend than on whether they chose to attend college at all.

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File URL: http://www.nber.org/papers/w10112.pdf
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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc in its series NBER Working Papers with number 10112.

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Date of creation: Nov 2003
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Publication status: published as Katharine G. Abraham & Melissa A. Clark, 2006. "Financial Aid and Students’ College Decisions: Evidence from the District of Columbia Tuition Assistance Grant Program," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 41(3).
Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:10112

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  1. David Card & Alan B. Krueger, 2004. "Would the Elimination of Affirmative Action Affect Highly Qualified Minority Applicants? Evidence from California and Texas," NBER Working Papers 10366, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  2. Dynarski, Susan, 2000. "Hope for Whom? Financial Aid for the Middle Class and Its Impact on College Attendance," National Tax Journal, National Tax Association, vol. 53(n. 3), pages 629-62, September.
  3. Susan Dynarski, 2000. "Hope for Whom? Financial Aid for the Middle Class and Its Impact on College Attendance," NBER Working Papers 7756, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  4. Dynarski, Susan, 2001. "Does Aid Matter? Measuring the Effect of Student Aid on College Attendance and Completion," Working Paper Series rwp01-034, Harvard University, John F. Kennedy School of Government.
  5. David M. Linsenmeier & Harvey S. Rosen & Cecilia Elena Rouse, 2002. "Financial Aid Packages and College Enrollment Decisions: An Econometric Case Study," NBER Working Papers 9228, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  6. Thomas J. Kane, 2003. "A Quasi-Experimental Estimate of the Impact of Financial Aid on College-Going," NBER Working Papers 9703, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  7. Susan Dynarski, 2002. "The Behavioral and Distributional Implications of Aid for College," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 92(2), pages 279-285, May.
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