The Effect of Florida’s Bright Futures Program on College Choice: A Regression Discontinuity Approach
Abstract

This study evaluates the effect of Florida’s Bright Future Program on student college choices. We used regression discontinuity design to estimate the effect of two award levels, which had different SAT/ACT thresholds, on the probability of students choosing instate public colleges and four-year public colleges. The most consistent and robust finding was the positive, significant increases in the probability of attending Florida’s public colleges and in the probability of choosing four-year public colleges for those students who barely met the program eligibility criteria when compared with those who barely missed those criteria. That is, the evidence presented in this analysis points to the fact that the Bright Future programs significantly altered students’ college choices, both in terms of attending in-state public colleges and four-year public colleges. Although this finding held at different award levels and for students who took the SAT and/or ACT tests, the magnitude of the program effect varied along these factors.


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