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College Choices

The Economics of Where to Go, When to Go, and How to Pay for It

College Choices

The Economics of Where to Go, When to Go, and How to Pay for It

Aspiring college students and their families have many options. A student can attend an in-state or an out-of-state school, a public or private college, a two-year community college program or a four-year university program. Students can attend full-time and have a bachelor of arts degree by the age of twenty-three or mix college and work, progressing toward a degree more slowly. To make matters more complicated, the array of financial aid available is more complex than ever. Students and their families must weigh federal grants, state merit scholarships, college tax credits, and college savings accounts, just to name a few.

In College Choices, Caroline Hoxby and a distinguished group of economists show how students and their families really make college decisions—how they respond to financial aid options, how peer relationships figure in the decision-making process, and even whether they need mentoring to get through the admissions process. Students of all sorts are considered—from poor students, who may struggle with applications and whether to continue on to college, to high aptitude students who are offered "free rides" at elite schools. College Choices utilizes the best methods and latest data to analyze the college decision-making process, while explaining how changes in aid and admissions practices inform those decisions as well.

335 pages | 35 line drawings, 117 tables | 6 x 9 | © 2004

National Bureau of Economic Research Conference Report

Education: Higher Education

Table of Contents

Introduction - Caroline M. Hoxby

1. Going to College and Finishing College: Explaining Different Educational Outcomes - Sarah E. Turner
Comment: Christopher Taber
2. The New Merit Aid - Susan Dynarski
Comment: Charles Clotfelter
3. The Impact of Federal Tax Credits for Higher Education Expenses - Bridget Terry Long
Comment: Michael McPherson
4. Education Savings Incentives and Household Saving: Evidence from the 2000 TIAA-CREF Survey of Participant Finances - Jennifer Ma
Comment: Harvey S. Rosen
5. How Financial Aid Affects Persistence - Eric Bettinger
Comment: Jonathan Guryan
6. Do and Should Financial Aid Packages Affect Students’ College Choices? - Christopher Avery and Caroline M. Hoxby
Comment: Michael Rothschild
7. Resident and Nonresident Tuition and Enrollment at Flagship State Universities - Michael J. Rizzo and Ronald G. Ehrenberg
Comment: Michelle J. White
8. Student Perceptions of College Opportunities: The Boston COACH Program - Christopher Avery and Thomas J. Kane
Comment: Bruce Sacerdote
9. Peer Effects in Higher Education - Gordon C. Winston and David J. Zimmerman
Comment: Thomas S. Dee
Author Index
Subject Index

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