The Effect of In-State Tuition Policies on College Decisions: Evidence from Colorado

Migration Research Cluster

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2203 SS&H Andrews Conference Room | UC Davis


In 2013, Colorado became the 15th state to pass a law effectively granting in-state tuition to undocumented students while keeping with a federal ban on specifically targeting them for financial aid. In this paper, we evaluate the effects of Colorado’s legislation on the college application, enrollment, persistence, and completion of Colorado undergraduates using a differences-in-differences methodology. In the absence of information on legal immigration status, we construct a plausible treatment group from Hispanic non-resident non-citizens who attended high school in Colorado. Preliminary results show an increase in the enrollment of likely undocumented students as well as an increase in persistence across years. We do not find evidence of policy-induced changes in full-time status or credit hours completed. Additional results will examine the application margin and consider whether the policy changed the composition of students applying to and enrolling in public universities.

Annie HinesAnnie Hines
Ph.D. Student, Department of Economics, UC Davis



Registration closes on May 23 at 12PM



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