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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 - ENS Paris - École normale supérieure - Paris - EHESS - École des hautes études en sciences sociales - Institut national de la recherche agronomique (INRA) - École des Ponts ParisTech (ENPC) - CNRS - Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique, 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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    File URL: https://halshs.archives-ouvertes.fr/halshs-00870546/document
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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: https://halshs.archives-ouvertes.fr/halshs-00870546
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    1. Dynarski, Susan, 2001. "Does Aid Matter? Measuring the Effect of Student Aid on College Attendance and Completion," Working Paper Series rwp01-034, Harvard University, John F. Kennedy School of Government.
    2. Katharine Abraham & Melissa A. Clark, 2003. "Financial Aid and Students' College Decisions: Evidence from the District of Columbia's Tuition Assistance Grant Program," NBER Working Papers 10112, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    3. Thomas J. Kane, 1995. "Rising Public College Tuition and College Entry: How Well Do Public Subsidies Promote Access to College?," NBER Working Papers 5164, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    4. Dynarski, Susan & Wiederspan, Mark, 2012. "Student Aid Simplification: Looking Back And Looking Ahead," National Tax Journal, National Tax Association, vol. 65(1), pages 211-34, March.
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    6. 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.
    7. Dynarski, Susan, 2005. "Building the Stock of College-Educated Labor," Working Paper Series rwp05-050, Harvard University, John F. Kennedy School of Government.
    8. Thomas J. Kane, 2007. "Evaluating the Impact of the D.C. Tuition Assistance Grant Program," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 42(3).
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    12. John Bound & Sarah Turner, 2002. "Going to War and Going to College: Did World War II and the G.I. Bill Increase Educational Attainment for Returning Veterans?," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 20(4), pages 784-815, October.
    13. 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.
    14. Susan M. Dynarski & Judith E. Scott-Clayton, 2008. "Complexity and Targeting in Federal Student Aid: A Quantitative Analysis," NBER Chapters, in: Tax Policy and the Economy, Volume 22, pages 109-150 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
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    16. Neil Seftor Sarah E Turner, 2002. "Back to School Federal Student Aid Policy and Adult College Enrollment," Mathematica Policy Research Reports 28f7ccb624fd4f2a9a20d7075, Mathematica Policy Research.
    17. Stephanie Riegg Cellini & Claudia Goldin, 2014. "Does Federal Student Aid Raise Tuition? New Evidence on For-Profit Colleges," American Economic Journal: Economic Policy, American Economic Association, vol. 6(4), pages 174-206, November.
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    19. Beffy, Magali & Fougère, Denis & Maurel, Arnaud, 2013. "The Effect of College Employment on Graduation: Evidence from France," CEPR Discussion Papers 9565, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
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