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Improving college access and success for low-income students: Evidence from a large need-based grant program

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  • Gabrielle Fack

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  • Julien Grenet

Abstract

Using comprehensive administrative data on France's single largest financial aid program, this paper provides new evidence on the impact of large-scale need-based grant programs on the college enrollment decisions, persistence and graduation rates of low-income students. We exploit sharp discontinuities in the grant eligibility formula to identify the impact of aid on student outcomes at different levels of study. We find that eligibility for an annual cash allowance of 1,500 euros increases college enrollment rates by up to 5 percentage points. Moreover, we show that need-based grants have positive effects on student persistence and degree completion.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by Department of Economics and Business, Universitat Pompeu Fabra in its series Economics Working Papers with number 1393.

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Date of creation: Sep 2013
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Handle: RePEc:upf:upfgen:1393

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Web page: http://www.econ.upf.edu/

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Keywords: Need-based grants; college enrollment; student persistence; degree completion;

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  2. Dynarski, Susan, 2001. "Does Aid Matter? Measuring the Effect of Student Aid on College Attendance and Completion," Working Paper Series, Harvard University, John F. Kennedy School of Government rwp01-034, Harvard University, John F. Kennedy School of Government.
  3. Dynarski, Susan & Wiederspan, Mark, 2012. "Student Aid Simplification: Looking Back And Looking Ahead," National Tax Journal, National Tax Association, vol. 65(1), pages 211-34, March.
  4. David Deming & Susan Dynarski, 2010. "College Aid," NBER Chapters, in: Targeting Investments in Children: Fighting Poverty When Resources are Limited, pages 283-302 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  5. McCrary, Justin, 2008. "Manipulation of the running variable in the regression discontinuity design: A density test," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, Elsevier, vol. 142(2), pages 698-714, February.
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  8. Lee, David S., 2008. "Randomized experiments from non-random selection in U.S. House elections," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, Elsevier, vol. 142(2), pages 675-697, February.
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  13. Guido Imbens & Karthik Kalyanaraman, 2012. "Optimal Bandwidth Choice for the Regression Discontinuity Estimator," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 79(3), pages 933-959.
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  15. Dynarski, Susan, 2000. "Hope for Whom? Financial Aid for the Middle Class and Its Impact on College Attendance," National Tax Journal, National Tax Association, vol. 53(n. 3), pages 629-62, September.
  16. Beffy, Magali & Fougère, Denis & Maurel, Arnaud, 2013. "The Effect of College Employment on Graduation: Evidence from France," CEPR Discussion Papers, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers 9565, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  17. Guido Imbens & Thomas Lemieux, 2007. "Regression Discontinuity Designs: A Guide to Practice," NBER Technical Working Papers 0337, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  18. Susan Dynarski, 2000. "Hope for Whom? Financial Aid for the Middle Class and Its Impact on College Attendance," NBER Working Papers 7756, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  19. Thomas J. Kane, 2007. "Evaluating the Impact of the D.C. Tuition Assistance Grant Program," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 42(3).
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