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

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  • Katharine G. Abraham
  • Melissa A. Clark

Abstract

The District of Columbia Tuition Assistance Grant Program (DCTAG), instituted in 1999, allows D.C. 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 D.C. residents to estimate the effects of price on college application and enrollment decisions. We find that DCTAG increased the likelihood that students applied to eligible institutions and markedly increased college enrollment rates among recent high school graduates. Enrollments increased primarily at less selective colleges and universities, with no decrease at more selective schools.

Suggested Citation

  • 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:uwp:jhriss:v:41:y:2006:i:3:p578-610
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Dynarski, Susan, 2000. "Hope for Whom? Financial Aid for the Middle Class and Its Impact on College Attendance," National Tax Journal, National Tax Association;National Tax Journal, vol. 53(3), pages 629-662, September.
    2. Susan M. Dynarski, 2003. "Does Aid Matter? Measuring the Effect of Student Aid on College Attendance and Completion," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 93(1), pages 279-288, March.
    3. Stacy Berg Dale & Alan B. Krueger, 2002. "Estimating the Payoff to Attending a More Selective College: An Application of Selection on Observables and Unobservables," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 117(4), pages 1491-1527.
    4. David M. Linsenmeier & Harvey S. Rosen & Cecilia Elena Rouse, 2006. "Financial Aid Packages and College Enrollment Decisions: An Econometric Case Study," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 88(1), pages 126-145, February.
    5. Wilbert van der Klaauw, 2002. "Estimating the Effect of Financial Aid Offers on College Enrollment: A Regression-Discontinuity Approach," International Economic Review, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania and Osaka University Institute of Social and Economic Research Association, vol. 43(4), pages 1249-1287, November.
    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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    JEL classification:

    • I20 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Education - - - General

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