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The Enrollment Effects of Merit-Based Financial Aid: Evidence from Georgia's HOPE Scholarship

Author

Listed:
  • Christopher M. Cornwell

    (University of Georgia)

  • David B. Mustard

    (University of Georgia)

  • Deepa Sridhar

Abstract

This paper examines the effects of Georgia's merit-based HOPE Scholarship on college enrollment. Introduced in 1993, the HOPE Scholarship covers tuition, fees, and book expenses for students attending Georgia public colleges, and provides a subsidy of comparable value to students attending in-state private colleges, without any income restrictions. Treating HOPE as a natural experiment, we contrast college enrollment in Georgia with those in the other member states of the Southern Regional Educational Board using IPEDS data for the period 1988-97. We estimate that the HOPE increased total freshmen enrollment by 5.9 percent, with the gains concentrated in 4-year schools. For freshmen recently graduated from high school attending 4-year colleges, two-thirds of the program effect is explained by a decrease in students leaving the state. Both white and black enrollments increased because of HOPE, with the state's historically-black institutions playing an important role. Finally, the total HOPE-induced enrollment increase represents only 15 percent freshmen scholarship recipients.

Suggested Citation

  • Christopher M. Cornwell & David B. Mustard & Deepa Sridhar, 2005. "The Enrollment Effects of Merit-Based Financial Aid: Evidence from Georgia's HOPE Scholarship," HEW 0501002, University Library of Munich, Germany.
  • Handle: RePEc:wpa:wuwphe:0501002
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    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    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. Cornwell, Christopher & Lee, Kyung Hee & Mustard, David B., 2003. "The Effects of Merit-Based Financial Aid on Course Enrollment, Withdrawal and Completion in College," IZA Discussion Papers 820, Institute of Labor Economics (IZA).
    3. Marianne Bertrand & Esther Duflo & Sendhil Mullainathan, 2004. "How Much Should We Trust Differences-In-Differences Estimates?," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 119(1), pages 249-275.
    4. Bridget Terry Long, 2004. "How do Financial Aid Policies Affect Colleges?: The Institutional Impact of the Georgia HOPE Scholarship," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 39(4).
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

    Citations

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    Cited by:

    1. Gabrielle Fack & Julien Grenet, 2015. "Improving College Access and Success for Low-Income Students: Evidence from a Large Need-Based Grant Program," American Economic Journal: Applied Economics, American Economic Association, vol. 7(2), pages 1-34, April.
    2. 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.
    3. Susan Dynarski, 2008. "Building the Stock of College-Educated Labor," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 43(3), pages 576-610.
    4. David Deming & Susan Dynarski, 2009. "Into College, Out of Poverty? Policies to Increase the Postsecondary Attainment of the Poor," NBER Working Papers 15387, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    5. Michael Kremer & Edward Miguel & Rebecca Thornton, 2009. "Incentives to Learn," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 91(3), pages 437-456, August.
    6. Waddell, Glen R. & Singell Jr., Larry D., 2011. "Do no-loan policies change the matriculation patterns of low-income students?," Economics of Education Review, Elsevier, vol. 30(2), pages 203-214, April.
    7. 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 of Labor Economics (IZA).
    8. Neill, Christine, 2009. "Tuition fees and the demand for university places," Economics of Education Review, Elsevier, vol. 28(5), pages 561-570, October.
    9. 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.
    10. Joshua Angrist & Eric Bettinger & Michael Kremer, 2004. "Long-Term Consequences of Secondary School Vouchers: Evidence from Administrative Records in Colombia," NBER Working Papers 10713, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    11. Cornwell, Christopher & Mustard, David B., 2006. "Merit Aid and Sorting: The Effects of HOPE-Style Scholarships on College Ability Stratification," IZA Discussion Papers 1956, Institute of Labor Economics (IZA).
    12. Bridget Terry Long, 2003. "The Impact of Federal Tax Credits for Higher Education Expenses," NBER Working Papers 9553, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    13. Robert Bifulco & Jason M. Fletcher & Sun Jung Oh & Stephen L. Ross, 2012. "Do Classmate Effects Fade Out?," NBER Working Papers 18648, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    14. Judith Scott-Clayton, 2012. "Information Constraints and Financial Aid Policy," NBER Working Papers 17811, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    15. Joshua Angrist & Daniel Lang & Philip Oreopoulos, 2006. "Lead Them to Water and Pay Them to Drink: An Experiment with Services and Incentives for College Achievement," NBER Working Papers 12790, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    16. Timothy G. Conley & Christopher R. Taber, 2011. "Inference with "Difference in Differences" with a Small Number of Policy Changes," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 93(1), pages 113-125, February.
    17. Martin D. Dooley & A. Abigail Payne & A. Leslie Robb, 2009. "Merit-Aid and the Distribution of Entering Students Across Ontario Universities," Department of Economics Working Papers 2009-12, McMaster University.
    18. David Deming & Susan Dynarski, 2010. "College Aid," NBER Chapters, in: Targeting Investments in Children: Fighting Poverty When Resources are Limited, pages 283-302, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    19. Bridget Terry Long, 2007. "Do loans increase college access and choice?: examining the introduction of universal student loans," New England Public Policy Center Working Paper 07-1, Federal Reserve Bank of Boston.
    20. Daniel Aaronson & Kyung-Hong Park & Daniel G. Sullivan, 2006. "The decline in teen labor force participation," Economic Perspectives, Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago, vol. 30(Q I), pages 2-18.
    21. Eric P. Bettinger & Bridget Terry Long & Philip Oreopoulos & Lisa Sanbonmatsu, 2009. "The Role of Simplification and Information in College Decisions: Results from the H&R Block FAFSA Experiment," NBER Working Papers 15361, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    22. 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.
    23. 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.
    24. Christopher M. Cornwell & Kyung Hee Lee & David B. Mustard, 2005. "Student Responses to Merit Retention Rules," HEW 0501001, University Library of Munich, Germany.

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    More about this item

    Keywords

    Higher Education; Enrollment; HOPE; Merit-based Aid;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • I - Health, Education, and Welfare

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