Year of Publication:2018
Publication:The Journal of Human Capital
This study analyzes the effects of an increase in the cost of going to college on student finances and achievement. It exploits a unique policy change at a Swiss university whereby students faced an unexpected increase in tuition fees. This increase differed across students. The study uses this variation in a difference-in-differences strategy to identify and estimate the causal effect of the differential increase in fees. Results based on survey data suggest that students compensate the increase in fees with a reduction in consumption spending. In line with this finding, the estimated effects on on-time graduation, credits earned, and grades, based on data from administrative student records, are close to zero and insignificant.