By Justin T. Rosenblum and John H. Zipf
We investigate the efficiency of the current financial aid system for prospective college students. The Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) form reviews a family’s financial information and universities review a student’s academic prowess, but neither fully examines students and their family’s qualitative factors such as parents’ highest education level or intended major. Using the National Center for Education Statistics’ National Postsecondary Student Aid Study, we investigate academic, financial, and familial characteristics to determine if they impact a student’s level of private loans relative to their total cost of attendance. We find that students with parents who did not receive a college degree are adversely affected by the current financial aid system. In particular, these students take out a greater amount of private loans relative to their total cost of attendance all else equal. Our finding has wider policy implications; changing the current financial aid system to assist disadvantaged students could help reduce intergenerational education inequalities. In addition, colleges could reach a broader range of students by helping
the students that currently struggle the most to pay tuition.
Advisors: Michelle Connolly, Hugh Macartney and Kent Kimbrough | JEL Codes: I2, I22, I23
By Makda Habtom and Yuliya Kozina
This study looks at a sample of Miami-Dade public middle and high schools. The aim is to see if school incidents and perceived safety can be predicted by school-level diversity and other school characteristics. At first, it is found that higher diversity is associated with higher incidents and lower perceived safety. Then, looking at differences over time, it is found that diversity is no longer statistically significant. Instead, increases in school population and free/reduced price lunch over time is significantly associated with an increase in incidents. However, only an increase in the school population is associated with a decrease in perceived safety scores.
Advisor: Hugh Macartney | JEL Codes: I2, I20
By Dana Fenster
This paper examines the relationship between teacher tenure and teacher quality in North Carolina, measured via student performance on the state End of Grade (EOG) standardized tests. After presenting a comprehensive synopsis of the current teacher tenure policy, I use data from the North Carolina Education Research Data Center (NCERDC) to compare demonstrated teacher effectiveness across the tenure bubble, defined as one to eight years of teaching experience within the same district. Ultimately, I find that there is significant jump in average teacher quality at the tenure cutoff, suggesting that tenure policy is effective in retaining high quality teachers while removing those who are ineffective.
Advisor: Hugh Macartney | JEL Codes: I21, J24, J41, M5 | Tagged: Economics of Education, Labor Economics, Teacher Tenure