NATIONAL BUREAU OF ECONOMIC RESEARCH
NATIONAL BUREAU OF ECONOMIC RESEARCH

Does Reducing College Costs Improve Educational Outcomes for Undocumented Immigrants? Evidence from State Laws Permitting Undocumented Immigrants to Pay In-state Tuition at State Colleges and Universities

Aimee Chin, Chinhui Juhn

NBER Working Paper No. 15932
Issued in April 2010
NBER Program(s):   CH   ED

Ten states, beginning with Texas and California in 2001, have passed laws permitting undocumented students to pay the in-state tuition rate - rather than the more expensive out-of-state tuition rate - at public universities and colleges. We exploit state-time variation in the passage of the laws to evaluate the effects of these laws on the educational outcomes of Hispanic childhood immigrants who are not U.S. citizens. Specifically, through the use of individual-level data from the 2001-2005 American Community Surveys supplemented by the 2000 U.S. Census, we estimate the effect of the laws on the probability of attending college for 18- to 24-year-olds who have a high school degree and the probability of dropping out of high school for 16- to 17-year-olds. We find some evidence suggestive of a positive effect of the laws on the college attendance of older Mexican men, although estimated effects of the laws in general are not significantly different from zero.

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Document Object Identifier (DOI): 10.3386/w15932

Published: “Does Reducing College Costs Improve Educational Outcomes for Undoc umented Immigrants? Evidence from State Laws Permitting Undocumented Immigrants to Pay In- state Tuition at State Colleges and Universities” with Chinhui Juhn, in Latinos and the Economy: Integration and Impact in Schools, Labor Markets, and Beyond , David Leal and Stephen Trejo (eds.), New York: Springer, 2011.

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