Financial Aid, Student Background, and the Choice of First-year College Major
This paper examines the effects of tuition and financial aid on first-year college majors at three large public institutions. Higher net costs of college attendance (tuition minus aid) increase the probability of choosing professional majors and decrease the probability of choosing humanities and science majors. The effect of tuition on the probability of choosing a major is generally larger for students with more high school credits in similar subjects and smaller for those with more credits in dissimilar subjects. Thus, financial incentives and student backgrounds interact to affect major choices in a way consistent with academic comparative advantage.
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Volume (Year): 37 (2011)
Issue (Month): 3 ()
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