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Improving College Access and Success for Low-Income Students: Evidence from a Large Need-based Grant Program

  • Gabrielle Fack

    (Universitat Pompeu Fabra - Universitat Pompeu Fabra)

  • Julien Grenet

    (PSE - Paris-Jourdan Sciences Economiques - CNRS : UMR8545 - École des Hautes Études en Sciences Sociales (EHESS) - École des Ponts ParisTech (ENPC) - École normale supérieure [ENS] - Paris - Institut national de la recherche agronomique (INRA), EEP-PSE - Ecole d'Économie de Paris - Paris School of Economics - Ecole d'Économie de Paris)

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    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 out-comes 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 percent-age points. Moreover, we show that need-based grants have positive effects on student persistence and degree completion.

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    Paper provided by HAL in its series PSE Working Papers with number halshs-00870546.

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    Date of creation: Oct 2013
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    Handle: RePEc:hal:psewpa:halshs-00870546
    Note: View the original document on HAL open archive server: http://halshs.archives-ouvertes.fr/halshs-00870546
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    1. 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.
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    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.
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    17. McCrary, Justin, 2008. "Manipulation of the running variable in the regression discontinuity design: A density test," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 142(2), pages 698-714, February.
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