State Merit-Aid Programs and College Major: A Focus on Stem

60 Pages Posted: 18 May 2013

See all articles by David L. Sjoquist

David L. Sjoquist

Georgia State University

John V. Winters

Iowa State University - Department of Economics

Abstract

Since 1991 more than two dozen states have adopted merit-based student financial aid programs, intended at least in part to increase the stock of human capital by improving the knowledge and skills of the state's workforce. At the same time, there has been growing concern that the U.S. is producing too few college graduates in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) fields. Using both microdata from the American Community Survey and student records from the University System of Georgia, this paper examines whether recently adopted state merit-aid programs have affected college major decisions, with a focus on STEM fields. We find consistent evidence that state merit programs did in fact reduce the likelihood that a young person in the state will earn a STEM degree.

Keywords: merit aid, HOPE scholarship, college major, STEM

JEL Classification: I23, J24

Suggested Citation

Sjoquist, David L. and Winters, John V., State Merit-Aid Programs and College Major: A Focus on Stem. IZA Discussion Paper No. 7381, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2266808

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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