We analyze a Massachusetts merit aid program that gives highscoring
students tuition waivers at in-state public colleges with
lower graduation rates than available alternative colleges. A regression discontinuity design comparing students just above and below the eligibility threshold finds that students are remarkably willing to forgo college quality and that scholarship use actually lowered college completion rates. These results suggest that college quality affects college completion rates. The theoretical prediction that inking subsidies of public institutions can reduce consumption of the
subsidized good is shown to be empirically important.
"Merit Aid, College Quality, and College Completion: Massachusetts' Adams Scholarship as an In-Kind Subsidy."
American Economic Journal: Applied Economics,
State and Local Government: Health; Education; Welfare; Public Pensions
Educational Finance; Financial Aid
Higher Education; Research Institutions
Education: Government Policy