Despite the rapid increase in the returns to higher education witnessed in the labor market over the past few decades, there has also been a marked increase in the share of individuals who dropout of college or university. To boost student persistence in higher education, several Canadian provincial governments introduced a set of reforms that were designed as subsidies for college graduation. In addition, these policies were designed to discourage internal migration following graduation. Using data from both administrative tax records as well as longitudinal surveys, I analyze the effectiveness of these policies. The main findings are that the programs had no effect on internal migration, but significantly reduced college dropout rates.

Additional Metadata
Keywords higher education, college dropout, some college, college attrition, education financing
JEL Educational Finance (jel I22), Higher Education Research Institutions (jel I23), Government Policy (jel I28)
Publisher Department of Economics
Series Carleton Economics Working Papers (CEWP)
Webb, M. (2019). Finish It and It’s Free: An Evaluation of College Graduation Subsidies (No. CEP 19-08). Carleton Economics Working Papers (CEWP). Department of Economics.