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Is School Out for the Summer? The Impact of Year-Round Pell Grants on Academic and Employment Outcomes of Community College Students

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  • Vivian Yuen Ting Liu

    (Community College Research Center Teachers College Columbia University New York, NY 10027)

Abstract

Despite having been the largest source of financial aid to low-income college students in the United States, the traditional Pell Grant had one major limitation: If students enrolled in two semesters full-time, they would not have had any tuition support for the summer term of the same academic year. The year-round Pell (YRP) was implemented in the academic years 2009–10 and 2010–11 to provide a second Pell Grant to students who enrolled in more than twenty-four credits prior to the third semester and in at least six credits during the summer term. Using a state administrative dataset from a community college system, this paper uses a difference-in-differences approach to examine the credit, credential completion, and labor market outcomes resulting from the YRP. The study finds that for each $1,000 of additional YRP grant funding, summer enrollment increases by 28 percentage points, diploma completion rates increase by 1.6 percentage points, and third-year earnings from college entry increase by $200. For YRP-eligible students who started in a short-term program, the gains are a 2 percentage point higher certificate attainment rate, 3.6 percentage point increase in associate degree completion, and no effect on four-year transfer rates.

Suggested Citation

  • Vivian Yuen Ting Liu, 2020. "Is School Out for the Summer? The Impact of Year-Round Pell Grants on Academic and Employment Outcomes of Community College Students," Education Finance and Policy, MIT Press, vol. 15(2), pages 241-269, Spring.
  • Handle: RePEc:tpr:edfpol:v:15:y:2020:i:2:p:241-269
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