Harvard Educational Review
  1. Spring 2022 Issue »

    How Did the Post-9/11 GI Bill Affect Veteran Students’ Undergraduate College Choices?

    An Application of Propensity Scores in Difference-in-Differences Models

    Liang Zhang

    The Post-9/11 GI Bill represents signifcant public investment in and commitment to veterans who have served in the armed forces and those who will serve in the future. Recent studies have examined its effect on veterans’ college participation. In this study, Liang Zhang uses data from four waves of the National Postsecondary Student Aid Study between 2004 and 2016 to examine the effect of the Post-9/11 GI Bill on veterans’ college choices. This analysis fnds, most notably, that veterans who received federal education benefts attended colleges in more expensive locations after the implementation of the bill. Moreover, a greater proportion of veterans attended private for-proft institutions instead of public institutions. Also, the bill had no signifcant impact on choices in terms of institution level as measured by four-year versus two-year colleges, Carnegie Classifcation, or program type (online versus in-person).

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    Liang Zhang (https://orcid.org/0000-0003-4751-7173) is a professor of higher education in the Department of Administration, Leadership, and Technology at the Steinhardt School of Culture, Education, and Human Development at New York University. His research focuses on higher education economics, fnance, and public policy, particularly on the role of governments and institutions in affecting institutional performances and student outcomes. His work has appeared in Educational Researcher, Educational Finance and Policy, Harvard Educational Review, Journal of Higher Education, Research in Higher Education, Teachers College Record, Journal of Human Resources, Economics of Education Review, and Educational Evaluation and Policy Analysis.