The Effects of State Merit Scholarship Programs on College Attainment

Published£º2015-10-14    Source£º   Views£º

Title: The Effects of State Merit Scholarship Programs on College Attainment

Author: Ning Jia
Abstract: Over the past two decades, many states have adopted merit scholarship programs that provide state residents who meet certain academic requirements with grant money to attend in-state institutions.  This paper examines the impacts of merit scholarship programs on college attainment using data from the American Community Survey 2009 to 2012.  I find that on average, merit scholarship programs did not have any significant impact on college attendance and completion.  This, however, masks a considerable amount of variation in individual program effects.  I also show that there is a trade-off in program effects on associate¡¯s degree completion and bachelor¡¯s degree completion.  Programs that are successful at one type of degree completion generally have negative or zero effects on the other.  Taking advantage of the variation in program features across states, I find that the level of academic requirements and the amount of scholarship funding awarded are important determinants of program effectiveness.  Specifically, the leniency of academic requirements largely contributes to associate¡¯s degree completion, whereas the generosity of scholarship amount significantly increases college attendance and bachelor¡¯s degree completion.


About Ning Jia: She is currently an Assistant Professor at the China Center for Human Capital and Labor Market Research at the Central University of Finance and Economics. She works primarily in the field of labor economics. She received her Ph.D. in economics from the University of Notre Dame in 2015.


Date: Oct, 14th, 2015

Time: 13:30-14:50 PM

Location: Room 608, Academic Hall, CUFE