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Title page for ETD etd-03242014-120524

Type of Document Dissertation
Author Lee, Jungmin
URN etd-03242014-120524
Title Merit-Based Aid, College Affordability, and Student Success
Degree PhD
Department Leadership and Policy Studies
Advisory Committee
Advisor Name Title
William R. Doyle Committee Chair
John M. Braxton Committee Member
Liang Zhang Committee Member
Stella Flores Committee Member
  • merit-based aid
  • college affordability
  • persistence
  • degree attainment
Date of Defense 2014-03-12
Availability unrestricted
This dissertation examines effects of statewide merit-based aid on college prices and student success. In the second chapter of this dissertation, I examine whether four-year colleges in thirteen states that adopted a merit-based aid program changed their tuition and fees, the amount of institutional aid per student, and room and board charges more than four-year colleges in states without a merit-based aid program. I analyze data from the Integrated Postsecondary Education Data System with the difference-in-differences method. Results show that colleges in many states with merit-based aid did not raise their student charges or reduce the amount of institutional aid per student. The third and fourth chapters of this dissertation examine the effect of merit-based aid on student success in the example of Tennessee. In the third chapter, using the regression discontinuity method, I find that receiving merit-based aid increases the probability of earning a bachelor’s degree in the fourth year. However, it does not change whether a student earns a bachelor’s degree in the fifth or sixth year. In the fourth chapter, I use both event history analysis and regression discontinuity models to examine whether losing merit-based aid affects college persistence and graduation. Results show that losing merit-based aid decreases the probability of re-enrolling in college and earning a bachelor’s degree compared to maintaining the aid. Even compared to never receiving one, losing merit-based aid increases the probability of re-enrolling and graduating from college only for a limited time.
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