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Who Loses HOPE? Attrition from Georgia’s College Scholarship Program


  • Thomas S. Dee
  • Linda A. Jackson


Georgia’s lottery-funded HOPE Scholarship program provides free tuition to in-state students who can maintain a B average at state universities. However, roughly half of HOPE Scholars lose their support after their freshman year. This study employs student-level administrative data to identify the observed characteristics that systematically relate to scholarship attrition. Conditional on measures of student ability, there are not statistically significant differences between white, black, and Hispanic students. However, there are dramatic differences across academic disciplines. Students majoring in science, engineering, and computing are 21 to 51 percent more likely to lose their HOPE Scholarships than students in other disciplines.

Suggested Citation

  • Thomas S. Dee & Linda A. Jackson, 1999. "Who Loses HOPE? Attrition from Georgia’s College Scholarship Program," Southern Economic Journal, Southern Economic Association, vol. 66(2), pages 379-390, October.
  • Handle: RePEc:sej:ancoec:v:66:2:y:1999:p:379-390

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    Cited by:

    1. Benjamin W. Cowan & Dustin R. White, 2014. "The Effects of Merit-Based Financial Aid on Drinking in College," Carlo Alberto Notebooks 346, Collegio Carlo Alberto.
    2. David L. Sjoquist & John V. Winters, 2015. "State Merit Aid Programs and College Major: A Focus on STEM," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 33(4), pages 973-1006.
    3. Christopher M. Cornwell & Kyung Hee Lee & David B. Mustard, 2005. "Student Responses to Merit Scholarship Retention Rules," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 40(4), pages 895-917.
    4. David Sjoquist & John Winters, 2015. "The effect of Georgia’s HOPE scholarship on college major: a focus on STEM," IZA Journal of Labor Economics, Springer;Forschungsinstitut zur Zukunft der Arbeit GmbH (IZA), vol. 4(1), pages 1-29, December.
    5. Cowan, Benjamin W. & White, Dustin R., 2015. "The effects of merit-based financial aid on drinking in college," Journal of Health Economics, Elsevier, vol. 44(C), pages 137-149.
    6. 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.
    7. Susan Dynarski, 2004. "The New Merit Aid," NBER Chapters,in: College Choices: The Economics of Where to Go, When to Go, and How to Pay For It, pages 63-100 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    8. Christopher M. Cornwell & Kyung Hee Lee & David B. Mustard, 2005. "Student Responses to Merit Retention Rules," HEW 0501001, EconWPA.
    9. Carruthers, Celeste K. & Özek, Umut, 2016. "Losing HOPE: Financial aid and the line between college and work," Economics of Education Review, Elsevier, vol. 53(C), pages 1-15.
    10. Dynarski, Susan, 2002. "The Consequences of Merit Aid," Working Paper Series rwp02-051, Harvard University, John F. Kennedy School of Government.
    11. Cornwell, Christopher & Lee, Kyung Hee & Mustard, David B., 2006. "The Effects of State-Sponsored Merit Scholarships on Course Selection and Major Choice in College," IZA Discussion Papers 1953, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
    12. David L. Sjoquist & John V. Winters, 2015. "State Merit-Based Financial Aid Programs And College Attainment," Journal of Regional Science, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 55(3), pages 364-390, June.
    13. Ross Rubenstein, 2003. "Helping Outstanding Pupils Educationally: Public Policy Issues of the Georgia HOPE Scholarship Program and the Lottery for Education," Center for Policy Research Policy Briefs 25, Center for Policy Research, Maxwell School, Syracuse University.

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