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ERIC Number: EJ1337536
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2021
Pages: 27
Abstractor: As Provided
ISSN: ISSN-2577-7270
Altering Expectations: Effects of Backloading Merit Scholarship Payments on Postsecondary Enrollment Choices
Kopotic, Katherine; Mills, Jonathan N.; Rhinesmith, Evan
Higher Education Politics & Economics, v7 n1 p72-98 2021
While the popularity of state-financed merit-based scholarships has increased since the 1980s, policymakers struggle to maintain these programs because of growing costs. Some have tried to manage this tradeoff through eligibility changes or award amounts; however, little empirical research exists on the effectiveness of these changes. We add to the financial aid literature by determining if college enrollment responded to a 2013 restructuring of Arkansas's Academic Challenge Scholarship from equal annual awards to a backloaded system with progressively higher payouts to students who persisted. We identify no statistically significant impacts associated with the 2013 change; however, point estimates are generally negative. We believe this is the first study to examine if moving to a backloaded payout structure affects college enrollment.
Higher Education Politics & Economics. 2309 Education Building, Norfolk, VA 23529. Tel: 757-683-4118; e-mail:; Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: Higher Education; Postsecondary Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: Arkansas
Grant or Contract Numbers: N/A