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Does Reducing College Costs Improve Educational Outcomes for Undocumented Immigrants? Evidence from State Laws Permitting Undocumented Immigrants to Pay In-state Tuition at State Colleges and Universities

  • Aimee Chin
  • Chinhui Juhn

Ten states, beginning with Texas and California in 2001, have passed laws permitting undocumented students to pay the in-state tuition rate - rather than the more expensive out-of-state tuition rate - at public universities and colleges. We exploit state-time variation in the passage of the laws to evaluate the effects of these laws on the educational outcomes of Hispanic childhood immigrants who are not U.S. citizens. Specifically, through the use of individual-level data from the 2001-2005 American Community Surveys supplemented by the 2000 U.S. Census, we estimate the effect of the laws on the probability of attending college for 18- to 24-year-olds who have a high school degree and the probability of dropping out of high school for 16- to 17-year-olds. We find some evidence suggestive of a positive effect of the laws on the college attendance of older Mexican men, although estimated effects of the laws in general are not significantly different from zero.

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Paper provided by National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc in its series NBER Working Papers with number 15932.

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Date of creation: Apr 2010
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Publication status: published as “Does Reducing College Costs Improve Educational Outcomes for Undoc umented Immigrants? Evidence from State Laws Permitting Undocumented Immigrants to Pay In- state Tuition at State Colleges and Universities” with Chinhui Juhn, in Latinos and the Economy: Integration and Impact in Schools, Labor Markets, and Beyond , David Leal and Stephen Trejo (eds.), New York: Springer, 2011.
Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:15932
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  1. Neeraj Kaushal, 2008. "In-state tuition for the undocumented: Education effects on Mexican young adults," Journal of Policy Analysis and Management, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 27(4), pages 771-792.
  2. James P. Smith, 2006. "Immigrants and the Labor Market," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 24(2), pages 203-234, April.
  3. Caroline Minter Hoxby, 2004. "Introduction to "College Choices: The Economics of Where to Go, When to Go, and How to Pay For It"," NBER Chapters, in: College Choices: The Economics of Where to Go, When to Go, and How to Pay For It, pages 1-12 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  4. Susan Dynarski, 2008. "Building the Stock of College-Educated Labor," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 43(3), pages 576-610.
  5. 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.
  6. Susan Dynarski, 2005. "Building the Stock of College-Educated Labor," Working Papers 15, Princeton University, Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs, Education Research Section..
  7. Caroline M. Hoxby, 2004. "College Choices: The Economics of Where to Go, When to Go, and How to Pay For It," NBER Books, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc, number hoxb04-1.
  8. Kossoudji, S.A. & Cobb-Clark, D.A., 1996. "Coming Out of the Shadows: Learning About Legal Status and Wages from the Legalized Population," CEPR Discussion Papers 347, Centre for Economic Policy Research, Research School of Economics, Australian National University.
  9. Kane, Thomas J, 1994. "College Entry by Blacks since 1970: The Role of College Costs, Family Background, and the Returns to Education," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 102(5), pages 878-911, October.
  10. Thomas J. Kane, 1995. "Rising Public College Tuition and College Entry: How Well Do Public Subsidies Promote Access to College?," NBER Working Papers 5164, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
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