The Economic and Educational Attainment of DACA Recipients in Minnesota Compared with Wisconsin

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The Economic and Educational Attainment of DACA Recipients in Minnesota Compared with Wisconsin

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This study examines both the impact of the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program and the impact of Minnesota’s policy allowing Minnesotans in the DACA program to pay in-state tuition and receive state-based scholarships. DACA participants were compared to individuals who just missed the age-cutoff for DACA eligibility in Minnesota and Wisconsin (who, unlike Minnesota, does not permit DACA participants to receive the benefits of residents for state colleges and universities). Using American Community Survey data from 2012 to 2021, the findings reveal a significant educational advantage for DACA-eligible individuals in Minnesota, who are 11.5 percentage points more likely to complete 4+ years of college education compared to non-DACA eligible individuals, but not in Wisconsin. In terms of income, DACA-eligible individuals in both Minnesota and Wisconsin earn about $8,000 more annually on average than their non-DACA counterparts. These results demonstrate the economic benefits of DACA eligibility but also underscore the importance of state-specific policies in shaping the success of DACA recipients, suggesting a need for further research to understand these impacts across diverse policy environments.



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