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Looking beyond Enrollment: The Causal Effect of Need-Based Grants on College Access, Persistence, and Graduation

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  • Benjamin L. Castleman
  • Bridget Terry Long

Abstract

The government has attempted to ameliorate gaps in college access and success by providing need-based grants, but little evidence exists on the long-term impacts of such aid. We examine the effects of the Florida Student Access Grant (FSAG) using a regression-discontinuity strategy and exploiting the cut-off used to determine eligibility. We find that grant eligibility had a positive effect on attendance, particularly at public 4-year institutions. Moreover, FSAG increased the rate of credit accumulation and bachelor’s degree completion within 6 years, with a 22% increase for students near the eligibility cut-off. The effects are robust to sensitivity analysis.

Suggested Citation

  • Benjamin L. Castleman & Bridget Terry Long, 2016. "Looking beyond Enrollment: The Causal Effect of Need-Based Grants on College Access, Persistence, and Graduation," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 34(4), pages 1023-1073.
  • Handle: RePEc:ucp:jlabec:doi:10.1086/686643
    DOI: 10.1086/686643
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    JEL classification:

    • I2 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Education
    • J24 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demand and Supply of Labor - - - Human Capital; Skills; Occupational Choice; Labor Productivity

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