Does state merit-based aid stem brain drain?

Liang Zhang, Erik C. Ness

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

84 Scopus citations


In this study, the authors use college enrollment and migration data to test the brain drain hypothesis. Their results suggest that state merit scholarship programs do indeed stanch the migration of "best and brightest" students to other states. In the aggregate and on average, the implementation of state merit aid programs both increases the total 1st-year student enrollment in merit aid states and boosts resident college enrollment in these states significantly. The gross enrollment increase is a function of increased total student enrollment from these states and, perhaps more important, decreased emigration from these states. In addition to these overall effects, variations across states and across types of institutions exist due to scholarship eligibility criteria and award amount across states.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)143-165
Number of pages23
JournalEducational Evaluation and Policy Analysis
Issue number2
StatePublished - 2010

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Education


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