The Impact of Tuition Increases on Undocumented College Students' Attainment

Dylan Conger, Lesley J. Turner

NBER Working Paper No. 21135
Issued in April 2015
NBER Program(s):Economics of Education, Labor Studies, Public Economics

We examine the impact of a temporary price shock on the attainment of undocumented college students enrolled in a large urban college system. In spring 2002, the City University of New York reversed its policy of charging in-state tuition to undocumented students. By fall 2002, the state legislature restored in-state rates. Using a differences-in-differences identification strategy, we estimate impacts on reenrollment, credits, grades, and degree completion. The price shock led to an immediate 8 percent decrease in senior college students' enrollment. Senior college students who entered college the semester prior to the price shock experienced lasting reductions in attainment, including a 22 percent decrease in degree receipt. Conversely, among senior college students who been enrolled for at least a year, the price shock only affected the timing of exit.

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Document Object Identifier (DOI): 10.3386/w21135

Published: Dylan Conger, Lesley J. Turner, The effect of price shocks on undocumented students' college attainment and completion, Journal of Public Economics, Volume 148, 2017, Pages 92-114, ISSN 0047-2727,

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