NATIONAL BUREAU OF ECONOMIC RESEARCH
NATIONAL BUREAU OF ECONOMIC RESEARCH

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):   ED   LS   PE

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

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