Evaluating Post-Secondary Aid: Enrollment, Persistence, and Projected Completion Effects

47 Pages Posted: 17 Jan 2017

See all articles by Joshua D. Angrist

Joshua D. Angrist

Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) - Department of Economics; National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER); IZA Institute of Labor Economics

David H. Autor

Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) - Department of Economics; National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER); IZA Institute of Labor Economics

Sally Hudson

Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) - Department of Economics

Amanda Pallais

Harvard University

Date Written: December 2016

Abstract

This paper reports updated findings from a randomized evaluation of a generous, privately-funded scholarship program for Nebraska public college students. Scholarship offers boosted college enrollment and persistence. Four years after award receipt, randomly-selected scholarship winners were 13 percentage points more likely to be enrolled in college. Enrollment effects were larger for groups with historically low college attendance, including nonwhite students, first-generation college-goers, and students with low high school GPAs. Scholarships shifted many students from two- to four-year colleges, reducing associate’s degree completion in the process. Despite their substantial gains in four-year college enrollment, award winners from the first study cohort were slightly less likely to graduate on time than control applicants, suggesting that scholarships delay degree completion for some students. Projected graduation rates using the last cohort of pre-experimental scholarship applicants indicate that scholarships are likely to increase bachelor’s degree completion within five years.

Suggested Citation

Angrist, Joshua and Autor, David H. and Hudson, Sally and Pallais, Amanda, Evaluating Post-Secondary Aid: Enrollment, Persistence, and Projected Completion Effects (December 2016). NBER Working Paper No. w23015. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2900036

Joshua Angrist (Contact Author)

Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) - Department of Economics ( email )

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National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER)

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IZA Institute of Labor Economics

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David H. Autor

Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) - Department of Economics ( email )

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HOME PAGE: http://web.mit.edu/dautor/www

National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER)

1050 Massachusetts Avenue
Cambridge, MA 02138
United States

IZA Institute of Labor Economics

P.O. Box 7240
Bonn, D-53072
Germany

Sally Hudson

Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) - Department of Economics ( email )

50 Memorial Drive
E52-391
Cambridge, MA 02142
United States

Amanda Pallais

Harvard University ( email )

1875 Cambridge Street
Cambridge, MA 02138
United States

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