The Enrollment Effects of Merit-Based Financial Aid: Evidence from Georgia's HOPE Scholarship
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.
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- 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 for the Study of Labor (IZA).
- 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.
- Marianne Bertrand & Esther Duflo & Sendhil Mullainathan, 2004.
"How Much Should We Trust Differences-in-Differences Estimates?,"
The Quarterly Journal of Economics,
MIT Press, vol. 119(1), pages 249-275, February.
- Marianne Bertrand & Esther Duflo & Sendhil Mullainathan, 2002. "How Much Should We Trust Differences-in-Differences Estimates?," NBER Working Papers 8841, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
- 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).
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