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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 [Barcelona])

  • Julien Grenet

    (PSE - Paris-Jourdan Sciences Economiques - CNRS - Institut national de la recherche agronomique (INRA) - EHESS - École des hautes études en sciences sociales - ENS Paris - École normale supérieure - Paris - École des Ponts ParisTech (ENPC), EEP-PSE - Ecole d'Économie de Paris - Paris School of Economics)

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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
    Date of revision:
    Handle: RePEc:hal:psewpa:halshs-00870546
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