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The Effects of Financial Aid on College Success of Two-Year Beginning Nontraditional Students

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  • Jin Chen

    () (Indiana University Bloomington)

  • Don Hossler

    (Indiana University Bloomington)

Abstract

Abstract This study aims to understand the role of financial aid in college success of two-year beginning nontraditional students. By applying discrete time event history models with propensity score covariate adjustment to a nationally representative sample from BPS: 04/09, this study answers research questions centering around the effects of Pell Grants, subsidized student loans and unsubsidized student loans on six-year college outcomes of nontraditional students (i.e. degree attainment, system departure, and continuous enrollment without a degree). The results of this study suggest that these nontraditional students were most likely to drop out in the third college year and that all three types of financial aid appeared effective for reducing dropout risks, but not for encouraging timely degree completion. These findings have significant implications for policy and practice including the necessity for considering the complexity of nontraditional student pathways, backgrounds and unique needs when designing and implementing financial aid policy. The findings also contribute to discussions on ways to fund nontraditional students and provide recommendations for institutions serving large populations of nontraditional students to promote persistence to graduation.

Suggested Citation

  • Jin Chen & Don Hossler, 2017. "The Effects of Financial Aid on College Success of Two-Year Beginning Nontraditional Students," Research in Higher Education, Springer;Association for Institutional Research, vol. 58(1), pages 40-76, February.
  • Handle: RePEc:spr:reihed:v:58:y:2017:i:1:d:10.1007_s11162-016-9416-0
    DOI: 10.1007/s11162-016-9416-0
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    References listed on IDEAS

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