The effect of florida’s bright futures program on college choice: A regression discontinuity approach

Liang Zhang, Shouping Hu, Liang Sun, Shi Pu

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

This study evaluates the effect of Florida’s Bright Future Program on student college choices. We used regression discontinuity design to estimate the effect of two award levels, which had different SAT/ACT thresholds, on the probability of students choosing in-state public colleges and four-year public colleges. The most consistent and robust finding was the positive, significant increases in the probability of attending Florida’s public colleges and in the probability of choosing four-year public colleges for those students who barely met the program eligibility criteria when compared with those who barely missed those criteria. That is, the evidence presented in this analysis points to the fact that the Bright Future programs significantly altered students’ college choices, both in terms of attending in-state public colleges and four-year public colleges. Although this finding held at different award levels and for students who took the SAT and/or ACT tests, the magnitude of the program effect varied along these factors.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)115-146
Number of pages32
JournalJournal of Higher Education
Volume87
Issue number1
DOIs
StatePublished - Jan 2016

Keywords

  • College choice
  • Merit aid
  • Regression discontinuity

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Education

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