The Effect of Tuition Subsidies on Student College Choice
Brianna Cardiff

About the research


NAEd/Spencer Dissertation Fellowship

Award Year



Stanford University

Primary Discipline

This dissertation examines the effect of tuition increases on student college choices. After state funding cuts, tuition increased by 187% on average at California public universities from 2000 to 2010 and the changes are likely to persist. Using individual level College Board data and the changes in California, I explore the effect of tuition increases on several important educational choices, such as where to attend college, and what major to pursue, as well as educational features, such as college peer groups. California is an ideal experimental setting due to its diverse population and its colleges that span the range of price and quality. I use a conditional logit econometric model to empirically estimate the impact of tuition changes on college choice.  The detailed data enables me to estimate whether tuition affects students differentially based on characteristics such as income and aptitude. Understanding how tuition impacts student choices informs policy and future research.
About Brianna Cardiff

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