A Quasi-Experimental Estimate of the Impact of Financial Aid on College-Going

67 Pages Posted: 19 May 2003 Last revised: 1 Nov 2010

See all articles by Thomas J. Kane

Thomas J. Kane

University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA) - School of Public Policy & Social Research; National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER)

Date Written: May 2003

Abstract

Although state and federal governments heavily subsidize the price of college, estimates of the impact of these subsidies on college enrollment have not been well-identified. I use a regression discontinuity design to study the impact of the CalGrant program in California on college going. Eligibility requires students to meet minimum thresholds on three characteristics: income, assets and high school Grade Point Average. Because there are several dimensions of eligibility, the analysis allows for specification tests, estimating any discontinuities along a given dimension of eligibility, dependent upon whether one satisfied the other two dimensions of eligibility. The paper uses a novel data collection strategy to measure subsequent college enrollment for 150,000 financial aid applicants in 1998 and 1999. The results suggest large impacts (3 to 4 percentage points) of grant eligibility on college enrollment among financial aid applicants, with larger impacts on the choice of private four-year colleges in California.

Suggested Citation

Kane, Thomas J., A Quasi-Experimental Estimate of the Impact of Financial Aid on College-Going (May 2003). NBER Working Paper No. w9703. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=408199

Thomas J. Kane (Contact Author)

University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA) - School of Public Policy & Social Research ( email )

Box 951656
Los Angeles, CA 90095
United States

National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER)

1050 Massachusetts Avenue
Cambridge, MA 02138
United States

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