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The Effects Of Merit Awards On District-Level High School Graduation: Evidence From Michigan, Brandon Lee Harrison
This paper considers the effects of the Michigan Merit Award, a college scholarship program, on high school graduation rates. Students qualify via a standardized high school proficiency exam. Identification is achieved through difference-in-differences estimation using both a broad set of controls and a stricter set of controls. The effects on graduation rates differ depending on the model specification, as some significant results show a positive correlation between the introduction of the program and graduation rates, while others a negative effect. Where it appears the award increased graduation rates, pinpointing the exact impact of the award on graduation levels is difficult ...