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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 grant eligibility had a positive effect on attendance, particularly at public four-year institutions. Moreover, FSAG increased the rate of credit accumulation and bachelor’s degree completion within six years, with a 22 percent increase for students near the eligibility cutoff. The effects are robust to sensitivity analysis.

Suggested Citation

  • Benjamin L. Castleman & Bridget Terry Long, 2013. "Looking Beyond Enrollment: The Causal Effect of Need-Based Grants on College Access, Persistence, and Graduation," NBER Working Papers 19306, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  • Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:19306
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    More about this item

    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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