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The effect of Georgia’s HOPE scholarship on college major: a focus on STEM

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  • David Sjoquist
  • John Winters

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Abstract

There is growing concern that the U.S. is producing too few college graduates in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) fields, and there is a desire to understand how various policies affect college major decisions. This paper uses student administrative records from the University System of Georgia to examine whether and how Georgia’s HOPE Scholarship has affected students’ college major decisions, with a focus on STEM. We find that HOPE reduced the likelihood of earning a STEM degree. The research is complementary to a forthcoming paper by the authors, but using USG administrative records allows us to address several additional issues beyond the effect of merit aid on the likelihood of earning a STEM degree, including: the effect on initial major, earned major, and the transition between them; the roles of student ability, student performance, and institutional choice; and other possible mechanisms through which merit aid affects STEM education. JEL codes I23, J24 Copyright Sjoquist and Winters. 2015

Suggested Citation

  • 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.
  • Handle: RePEc:spr:izalbr:v:4:y:2015:i:1:p:1-29:10.1186/s40172-015-0032-6
    DOI: 10.1186/s40172-015-0032-6
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Cited by:

    1. Hill, Andrew J., 2017. "State affirmative action bans and STEM degree completions," Economics of Education Review, Elsevier, vol. 57(C), pages 31-40.
    2. repec:tpr:edfpol:v:12:y:2017:i:3:p:342-368 is not listed on IDEAS
    3. John V. Winters, 2017. "Do Native STEM Graduates Increase Innovation? Evidence from U.S. Metropolitan Areas," Economics Working Paper Series 1714, Oklahoma State University, Department of Economics and Legal Studies in Business.
    4. Winters, John V., 2014. "Foreign and Native-Born STEM Graduates and Innovation Intensity in the United States," IZA Discussion Papers 8575, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Merit aid; HOPE scholarship; College major; STEM;

    JEL classification:

    • I23 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Education - - - Higher Education; Research Institutions
    • J24 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demand and Supply of Labor - - - Human Capital; Skills; Occupational Choice; Labor Productivity

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