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The Enrollment Effects of Merit-Based Financial Aid: Evidence from Georgia's HOPE Scholarship

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Author Info

  • Christopher M. Cornwell

    (University of Georgia)

  • David B. Mustard

    (University of Georgia)

  • Deepa Sridhar

Abstract

This paper examines the effects of Georgia's merit-based HOPE Scholarship on college enrollment. Introduced in 1993, the HOPE Scholarship covers tuition, fees, and book expenses for students attending Georgia public colleges, and provides a subsidy of comparable value to students attending in-state private colleges, without any income restrictions. Treating HOPE as a natural experiment, we contrast college enrollment in Georgia with those in the other member states of the Southern Regional Educational Board using IPEDS data for the period 1988-97. We estimate that the HOPE increased total freshmen enrollment by 5.9 percent, with the gains concentrated in 4-year schools. For freshmen recently graduated from high school attending 4-year colleges, two-thirds of the program effect is explained by a decrease in students leaving the state. Both white and black enrollments increased because of HOPE, with the state's historically-black institutions playing an important role. Finally, the total HOPE-induced enrollment increase represents only 15 percent freshmen scholarship recipients.

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File URL: http://128.118.178.162/eps/hew/papers/0501/0501002.pdf
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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by EconWPA in its series HEW with number 0501002.

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Length: 33 pages
Date of creation: 05 Jan 2005
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:wpa:wuwphe:0501002

Note: Type of Document - pdf; pages: 33
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Web page: http://128.118.178.162

Related research

Keywords: Higher Education; Enrollment; HOPE; Merit-based Aid;

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References

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  1. Marianne Bertrand & Esther Duflo & Sendhil Mullainathan, 2004. "How Much Should We Trust Differences-in-Differences Estimates?," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 119(1), pages 249-275, February.
  2. 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.
  3. Bridget Terry Long, 2004. "How do Financial Aid Policies Affect Colleges?: The Institutional Impact of the Georgia HOPE Scholarship," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 39(4).
  4. Cornwell, Christopher & Lee, Kyung Hee & Mustard, David B., 2003. "The Effects of Merit-Based Financial Aid on Course Enrollment, Withdrawal and Completion in College," IZA Discussion Papers 820, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
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