NATIONAL BUREAU OF ECONOMIC RESEARCH
NATIONAL BUREAU OF ECONOMIC RESEARCH
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Lauren C. Russell

Fels Institute of Government
University of Pennsylvania
3814 Walnut Street
Philadelphia, PA 19104

E-Mail: EmailAddress: hidden: you can email any NBER-related person as first underscore last at nber dot org
Institutional Affiliation: University of Pennsylvania

NBER Working Papers and Publications

March 2020Do College Applicants Respond to Changes in Sticker Prices Even When They Don't Matter?
with Phillip B. Levine, Jennifer Ma: w26910
Do students respond to sticker prices or actual prices when applying to college? These costs differ for students eligible for financial aid. Students who do not understand this may not apply to some colleges because of the perceived high cost. We test for this form of “sticker shock” using College Board data on SAT scores sends, as a proxy for applications, to state flagship institutions for students entering college in 2006–2013. Some public flagships guarantee financial aid will meet full financial need. Sticker price increases at those schools would not affect the actual cost after factoring in financial aid and should not affect decisions for those eligible for aid. We exploit the large and variable increases in sticker prices at public flagships during the financial crisis generated f...
 
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