Do Public Tuition Subsidies Promote College Enrollment? Evidence from Community College Taxing Districts in Texas

45 Pages Posted: 13 Nov 2014

See all articles by Paco Martorell

Paco Martorell

RAND Corporation

Brian P. McCall

University of Michigan at Ann Arbor, School of Education; University of Michigan at Ann Arbor, College of Literature, Science & the Arts, Department of Economics

Isaac McFarlin

University of Michigan at Ann Arbor - Gerald R. Ford School of Public Policy

Date Written: September 01, 2014

Abstract

This paper estimates the effect of tuition rates on college enrollment using data for Texas from the 1990 and 2000 Censuses and the 2004-2010 American Community Surveys and geographical data on Community College Taxing Districts. The effect of tuition on enrollment is identified by the facts that tuition rates for those living within a taxing district are lower than those living outside the taxing district and in Texas not all geographic locations are in a taxing district. While the estimated effect of tuition on enrollment depends on the sample used, it is negative and mostly statistically significant in the samples of adults 18 and older and negative and sometimes statistically significant in the samples of traditional age students 18 to 24. The estimated effect of tuition on enrollment, however, is found to vary considerably by poverty level status with an increase in tuition rates having a statistically significant negative effect on college enrollment for those with household incomes that are at least 200% of the poverty level both for traditional aged students 18 to 24 years old and all adults 18 and older.

Suggested Citation

Martorell, Paco and McCall, Brian P. and McFarlin, Isaac, Do Public Tuition Subsidies Promote College Enrollment? Evidence from Community College Taxing Districts in Texas (September 01, 2014). US Census Bureau Center for Economic Studies Paper No. CES-WP- 14-32. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2523453 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.2523453

Paco Martorell (Contact Author)

RAND Corporation ( email )

1776 Main Street
P.O. Box 2138
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Brian P. McCall

University of Michigan at Ann Arbor, School of Education ( email )

610 East University Avenue
Ann Arbor, MI 48109-1259
United States

HOME PAGE: http://www-personal.umich.edu/~bpmccall/

University of Michigan at Ann Arbor, College of Literature, Science & the Arts, Department of Economics ( email )

611 Tappan Street
Ann Arbor, MI 48109-1220
United States

Isaac McFarlin

University of Michigan at Ann Arbor - Gerald R. Ford School of Public Policy ( email )

735 South State Street, Weill Hall
Ann Arbor, MI 48109
United States

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