State Merit-Based Financial Aid Programs and College Attainment

40 Pages Posted: 6 Oct 2012

See all articles by David L. Sjoquist

David L. Sjoquist

Georgia State University

John V. Winters

Iowa State University - Department of Economics

Multiple version iconThere are 2 versions of this paper

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.

Keywords: merit aid, HOPE, college attainment, degree completion, higher education

JEL Classification: H75, I23, J24

Suggested Citation

Sjoquist, David L. and Winters, John V., State Merit-Based Financial Aid Programs and College Attainment. IZA Discussion Paper No. 6801, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2157943

David L. Sjoquist (Contact Author)

Georgia State University ( email )

P.O. Box 3992
Atlanta, GA 30302-3992
United States
404-413-0246 (Phone)

HOME PAGE: http://frp.aysps.gsu.edu/sjoquist/index.html

John V. Winters

Iowa State University - Department of Economics ( email )

260 Heady Hall
Ames, IA 50011
United States

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