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State Merit-based Financial Aid Programs and College Attainment

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  • Sjoquist, David L.

    () (Georgia State University)

  • Winters, John V.

    () (Oklahoma State University)

Abstract

We examine the effects of recently adopted state merit-based financial aid programs on college attendance and degree completion. Our primary analysis uses microdata from the 2000 Census and 2001-2010 American Community Survey to estimate the effects of merit programs on educational outcomes for 25 merit aid adopting states. We also utilize administrative data for the University System of Georgia to look more in depth at the effects of the HOPE Scholarship on degree completion in Georgia. We find strong consistent evidence that state merit aid programs have no meaningfully positive effect on college completion. Coefficient estimates for our preferred specifications are small and statistically insignificant. State merit aid programs do not appear to increase the percentage of young people with a college education.

Suggested Citation

  • Sjoquist, David L. & Winters, John V., 2012. "State Merit-based Financial Aid Programs and College Attainment," IZA Discussion Papers 6801, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  • Handle: RePEc:iza:izadps:dp6801
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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. 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.
    3. Peter Arcidiacono & Esteban M. Aucejo & V. Joseph Hotz, 2016. "University Differences in the Graduation of Minorities in STEM Fields: Evidence from California," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 106(3), pages 525-562, March.
    4. Rodney J. Andrews & Scott A. Imberman & Michael F. Lovenheim, 2016. "Recruiting and Supporting Low-Income, High-Achieving Students at Flagship Universities," NBER Working Papers 22260, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    5. Fitzpatrick, Maria D. & Jones, Damon, 2016. "Post-baccalaureate migration and merit-based scholarships," Economics of Education Review, Elsevier, vol. 54(C), pages 155-172.
    6. 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.
    7. Liu, Shimeng & Sun, Weizeng & Winters, John V., 2017. "Up in STEM, Down in Business: Changing College Major Decisions with the Great Recession," GLO Discussion Paper Series 117, Global Labor Organization (GLO).
    8. Winters, John V., 2014. "The Production and Stock of College Graduates for U.S. States," IZA Discussion Papers 8730, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
    9. Bartik, Timothy J. & Hershbein, Brad & Lachowska, Marta, 2016. "The Merits of Universal Scholarships: Benefit-Cost Evidence from the Kalamazoo Promise," Journal of Benefit-Cost Analysis, Cambridge University Press, vol. 7(03), pages 400-433, September.
    10. Adam M. Lavecchia & Heidi Liu & Philip Oreopoulos, 2014. "Behavioral Economics of Education: Progress and Possibilities," NBER Working Papers 20609, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    11. James R. Harrington & José Muñoz & Bradley R. Curs & Mark Ehlert, 2016. "Examining the Impact of a Highly Targeted State Administered Merit Aid Program on Brain Drain: Evidence from a Regression Discontinuity Analysis of Missouri’s Bright Flight Program," Research in Higher Education, Springer;Association for Institutional Research, vol. 57(4), pages 423-447, June.
    12. Peter Arcidiacono & Michael Lovenheim, 2016. "Affirmative Action and the Quality-Fit Trade-Off," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 54(1), pages 3-51, March.
    13. David L. Sjoquist & John V. Winters, 2016. "The Effects of State Merit Aid Programs on Attendance at Elite Colleges," Southern Economic Journal, Southern Economic Association, vol. 83(2), pages 527-549, October.
    14. repec:eee:labeco:v:47:y:2017:i:c:p:48-63 is not listed on IDEAS
    15. K. Bruce Newbold & W. Mark Brown, 2015. "The Urban–Rural Gap In University Attendance: Determinants Of University Participation Among Canadian Youth," Journal of Regional Science, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 55(4), pages 585-608, September.
    16. Maria D. Fitzpatrick & Damon Jones, 2012. "Higher Education, Merit-Based Scholarships and Post-Baccalaureate Migration," NBER Working Papers 18530, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    17. 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.
    18. Bruce, Donald J. & Carruthers, Celeste K., 2014. "Jackpot? The impact of lottery scholarships on enrollment in Tennessee," Journal of Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 81(C), pages 30-44.
    19. Yong Chen & David J. Lewis & Bruce Weber, 2016. "Conservation Land Amenities And Regional Economies: A Postmatching Difference-In-Differences Analysis Of The Northwest Forest Plan," Journal of Regional Science, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 56(3), pages 373-394, June.
    20. Michael S. Kofoed, 2017. "To Apply or Not to Apply: FAFSA Completion and Financial Aid Gaps," Research in Higher Education, Springer;Association for Institutional Research, vol. 58(1), pages 1-39, February.
    21. Sjoquist, David L. & Winters, John V., 2014. "Merit aid and post-college retention in the state," Journal of Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 80(C), pages 39-50.
    22. Timothy J. Bartik & Brad J. Hershbein & Marta Lachowska, 2015. "The Effects of the Kalamazoo Promise Scholarship on College Enrollment, Persistence, and Completion," Upjohn Working Papers and Journal Articles 15-228, W.E. Upjohn Institute for Employment Research.
    23. 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.
    24. Arcidiacono, Peter & Aucejo, Esteban M. & Hotz, V. Joseph, 2016. "University differences in the graduation minorities in STEM fields: evidence from California," LSE Research Online Documents on Economics 64178, London School of Economics and Political Science, LSE Library.
    25. Welch, Jilleah G., 2014. "HOPE for community college students: The impact of merit aid on persistence, graduation, and earnings," Economics of Education Review, Elsevier, vol. 43(C), pages 1-20.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    degree completion; college attainment; HOPE; merit aid; higher education;

    JEL classification:

    • H75 - Public Economics - - State and Local Government; Intergovernmental Relations - - - State and Local Government: Health, Education, and Welfare
    • 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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