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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
  • 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 the provision of 1,500 euros cash allowances to prospective undergraduate or graduate students increases their college enrollment rates by 5 to 7 percent. Moreover, we show that need-based grants have positive effects on student persistence and degree completion. (JEL H52, I22, I24, I28, J24)

Suggested Citation

  • Gabrielle Fack & Julien Grenet, 2015. "Improving College Access and Success for Low-Income Students: Evidence from a Large Need-Based Grant Program," American Economic Journal: Applied Economics, American Economic Association, vol. 7(2), pages 1-34, April.
  • Handle: RePEc:aea:aejapp:v:7:y:2015:i:2:p:1-34
    Note: DOI: 10.1257/app.20130423
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    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • H52 - Public Economics - - National Government Expenditures and Related Policies - - - Government Expenditures and Education
    • I22 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Education - - - Educational Finance; Financial Aid
    • I24 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Education - - - Education and Inequality
    • I28 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Education - - - Government Policy
    • J24 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demand and Supply of Labor - - - Human Capital; Skills; Occupational Choice; Labor Productivity

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