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Financial Aid Packages and College Enrollment Decisions: An Econometric Case Study


  • David M. Linsenmeier
  • Harvey S. Rosen
  • Cecilia Elena Rouse


We study the effects of a change in financial aid policy introduced by a Northeastern university in 1998. Prior to that time, the university's financial aid packages for low-income students consisted of grants, loans, and campus jobs. After the change, the entire loan portion of the package for low-income students was replaced with grants. We find the program increased the likelihood of matriculation by low-income students by about 3 percentage points, although the effect is not statistically significant. The effect among low-income minority students was between 8 and 10 percentage points and statistically significant at the 10 percent level.

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  • David M. Linsenmeier & Harvey S. Rosen & Cecilia Elena Rouse, 2002. "Financial Aid Packages and College Enrollment Decisions: An Econometric Case Study," NBER Working Papers 9228, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  • Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:9228
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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(3), pages 629-662, September.
    2. Ronald G. Ehrenberg & Daniel R. Sherman, 1984. "Optimal Financial Aid Policies for a Selective University," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 19(2), pages 202-230.
    3. Susan M. Dynarski, 2003. "Does Aid Matter? Measuring the Effect of Student Aid on College Attendance and Completion," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 93(1), pages 279-288, March.
    4. Feldstein, Martin, 1995. "College Scholarship Rules and Private Saving," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 85(3), pages 552-566, June.
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    JEL classification:

    • I2 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Education

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