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Money for nothing: estimating the impact of student aid on participation in Higher Education

Author

Listed:
  • Lorraine Dearden

    (Department of Quantitative Social Science, Institute of Education, University of London)

  • Emla Fitzsimons

    (Institute of Fiscal Studies)

  • Gill Wyness

    (London School of Economics)

Abstract

Understanding how finance policy can affect higher education is important for understanding how governments can promote human capital accumulation. Yet there is a severe lack of evidence on the effectiveness of student aid on HE participation outside of the US, and none at all for the UK. This paper exploits a reform that took place in the UK in 2004, when maintenance grants were re-introduced for students from low income families, having been abolished since 1999. This reform occurred in isolation of any other policy changes, and did not affect students from relatively better off families, making them a potential control group. We use a difference in difference framework to estimate its effects on degree participation. We find a positive impact of maintenance grants on degree participation, with a £1,000 increase in grants leading to a 3.95ppt increase in participation. This finding is in line with US studies.

Suggested Citation

  • Lorraine Dearden & Emla Fitzsimons & Gill Wyness, 2013. "Money for nothing: estimating the impact of student aid on participation in Higher Education," DoQSS Working Papers 13-04, Quantitative Social Science - UCL Social Research Institute, University College London.
  • Handle: RePEc:qss:dqsswp:1304
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Cited by:

    1. Richard Murphy & Gill Wyness, 2023. "Testing Means-Tested Aid," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 41(3), pages 687-727.
    2. Estelle Herbaut & Koen Geven, 2019. "What Works to Reduce Inequalities in Higher Education? A Systematic Review of the (Quasi-)Experimental Literature on Outreach and Financial Aid," SciencePo Working papers Main hal-03456943, HAL.
    3. Jack Britton & Monica Costa Dias & David Goll, 2023. "Can higher education policy boost intergenerational mobility? Evidence from an empirical matching model," IFS Working Papers W23/06, Institute for Fiscal Studies.
    4. repec:hal:spmain:info:hdl:2441/527ht1a96e837pq2dubgo2953q is not listed on IDEAS
    5. Bradley, Steve & Migali, Giuseppe, 2019. "The effects of the 2006 tuition fee reform and the Great Recession on university student dropout behaviour in the UK," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 164(C), pages 331-356.
    6. Stephen Machin & Richard Murphy, 2017. "Paying out and crowding out? The globalization of higher education," Journal of Economic Geography, Oxford University Press, vol. 17(5), pages 1075-1110.
    7. A.P. Gorina, 2016. "Issues and Prospectives of the Educational Service Market Modernization," European Research Studies Journal, European Research Studies Journal, vol. 0(3B), pages 227-238.
    8. Estelle Herbaut & Koen Geven, 2019. "What Works to Reduce Inequalities in Higher Education? A Systematic Review of the (Quasi-)Experimental Literature on Outreach and Financial Aid," Working Papers hal-03456943, HAL.
    9. Azmat Ghazala & Simion Ştefania, 2021. "Charging for Higher Education: Estimating the Impact on Inequality and Student Outcomes," The B.E. Journal of Economic Analysis & Policy, De Gruyter, vol. 21(1), pages 175-239, January.
    10. José García-Montalvo, 2018. "The Impact of Progressive Tuition Fees on Dropping Out of Higher Education: A Regression Discontinuity Design," Working Papers 1017, Barcelona School of Economics.
    11. Lucia Rizzica, 2018. "Raising aspirations and higher education: evidence from the UK’s Widening Participation policy," Temi di discussione (Economic working papers) 1188, Bank of Italy, Economic Research and International Relations Area.
    12. Barbara Sadaba & Sunčica Vujič & Sofia Maier, 2020. "Cyclicality of Schooling: New Evidence from Unobserved Components Models," Staff Working Papers 20-38, Bank of Canada.
    13. de Gendre, Alexandra & Kabátek, Jan, 2021. "From Subsidies to Loans: The Effects of a National Student Finance Reform on the Choices of Secondary School Students," IZA Discussion Papers 14686, Institute of Labor Economics (IZA).
    14. Estelle Herbaut & Koen Geven, 2019. "What Works to Reduce Inequalities in Higher Education? A Systematic Review of the (Quasi-)Experimental Literature on Outreach and Financial Aid," Sciences Po publications info:hdl:2441/527ht1a96e8, Sciences Po.
    15. Claire Callender & Kevin J. Dougherty, 2018. "Student Choice in Higher Education—Reducing or Reproducing Social Inequalities?," Social Sciences, MDPI, vol. 7(10), pages 1-28, October.
    16. Sadaba, Barbara & Vujić, Sunčica & Maier, Sofia, 2024. "Characterizing the schooling cycle," Economic Modelling, Elsevier, vol. 132(C).
    17. Steve Bradley & Giuseppe Migali, 2015. "The Effect of a Tuition Fee Reform on the Risk of Drop Out from University in the UK," Working Papers 86010138, Lancaster University Management School, Economics Department.
    18. Hassani-Nezhad, Lena & Anderberg, Dan & Chevalier, Arnaud & Lührmann, Melanie & Pavan, Ronni, 2021. "Higher education financing and the educational aspirations of teenagers and their parents," Economics of Education Review, Elsevier, vol. 85(C).
    19. Wright, Nicholas A., 2021. "Need-based financing policies, college decision-making, and labor market behavior: Evidence from Jamaica," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 150(C).
    20. Murphy, Richard & Scott-Clayton, Judith & Wyness, Gill, 2019. "The end of free college in England: Implications for enrolments, equity, and quality," Economics of Education Review, Elsevier, vol. 71(C), pages 7-22.
    21. Alberto Martini & Davide Azzolini & Barbara Romano & Loris Vergolini, 2021. "Increasing College Going by Incentivizing Savings: Evidence from a Randomized Controlled Trial in Italy," Journal of Policy Analysis and Management, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 40(3), pages 814-840, June.
    22. José Garcia Montalvo, 2018. "The impact of progressive tuition fees on dropping out of higher education: a regression discontinuity design," Economics Working Papers 1597, Department of Economics and Business, Universitat Pompeu Fabra.

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    More about this item

    Keywords

    higher education participation; higher education funding policies; maintenance grants; difference in differences;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • I21 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Education - - - Analysis of Education
    • I22 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Education - - - Educational Finance; Financial Aid
    • I28 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Education - - - Government Policy

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