The Impact of HOPE Scholarship on High School Graduation in Georgia
Since Georgia enacted its widely acclaimed merit aid HOPE policies, many states have followed suit- ostensibly due to its large, positive, and significant impact on college enrollment. There has been muted interest on the impact of the policy on high school graduation, both those who will go on to college and those that will not pursue a post secondary degree. Using a differences-in-differences methodology, I contrast high school graduation rates in Georgia against similar states and found the enactment of the HOPE scholarship has increased the probability of graduating High School by 12.5 percentage points. When viewed in light of a 7 percentage point jump in college enrollment due to HOPE scholarship (Cornwell et al. 2006), I conclude that the policy has increased the graduation rates of students who will not be immediately enrolling in college after graduation from high school by around 5 percentage points.
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