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Improving college access and success for low-income students: Evidence from a large need-based grant program

  • Gabrielle Fack
  • Julien Grenet

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 outcomes 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 percentage points. Moreover, we show that need-based grants have positive effects on student persistence and degree completion.

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File URL: http://www.econ.upf.edu/docs/papers/downloads/1393.pdf
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Paper provided by Department of Economics and Business, Universitat Pompeu Fabra in its series Economics Working Papers with number 1393.

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Date of creation: Sep 2013
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Handle: RePEc:upf:upfgen:1393
Contact details of provider: Web page: http://www.econ.upf.edu/

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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(n. 3), pages 629-62, September.
  2. 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.
  3. Dynarski, Susan, 2005. "Building the Stock of College-Educated Labor," Working Paper Series rwp05-050, Harvard University, John F. Kennedy School of Government.
  4. David S. Lee & Thomas Lemieux, 2009. "Regression Discontinuity Designs in Economics," NBER Working Papers 14723, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  5. 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.
  6. Katharine G. Abraham & Melissa A. Clark, 2006. "Financial Aid and Students’ College Decisions: Evidence from the District of Columbia Tuition Assistance Grant Program," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 41(3).
  7. 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.
  8. Lee, David S., 2008. "Randomized experiments from non-random selection in U.S. House elections," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 142(2), pages 675-697, February.
  9. Christopher M. Cornwell & David B. Mustard & Deepa Sridhar, 2005. "The Enrollment Effects of Merit-Based Financial Aid: Evidence from Georgia's HOPE Scholarship," HEW 0501002, EconWPA.
  10. Dynarski, Susan & Scott-Clayton, Judith, 2008. "Complexity and Targeting in Federal Student Aid: A Quantitative Analysis," Working Paper Series rwp08-005, Harvard University, John F. Kennedy School of Government.
  11. Goodman, Joshua, 2008. "Who merits financial aid?: Massachusetts' Adams Scholarship," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 92(10-11), pages 2121-2131, October.
  12. Susan Dynarski & Mark Wiederspan, 2012. "Student Aid Simplification: Looking Back and Looking Ahead," NBER Working Papers 17834, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  13. Guido Imbens & Karthik Kalyanaraman, 2009. "Optimal Bandwidth Choice for the Regression Discontinuity Estimator," NBER Working Papers 14726, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  14. 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.
  15. Guido Imbens & Thomas Lemieux, 2007. "Regression Discontinuity Designs: A Guide to Practice," NBER Working Papers 13039, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  16. Susan Dynarski, 2000. "Hope for Whom? Financial Aid for the Middle Class and Its Impact on College Attendance," NBER Working Papers 7756, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  17. Philip Oreopoulos & Daniel Lang & Joshua Angrist, 2009. "Incentives and Services for College Achievement: Evidence from a Randomized Trial," American Economic Journal: Applied Economics, American Economic Association, vol. 1(1), pages 136-63, January.
  18. 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.
  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.
  20. 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).
  21. 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.
  22. Stephanie Riegg Cellini & Claudia Goldin, 2012. "Does Federal Student Aid Raise Tuition? New Evidence on For-Profit Colleges," NBER Working Papers 17827, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  23. repec:mpr:mprres:3250 is not listed on IDEAS
  24. McCrary, Justin, 2008. "Manipulation of the running variable in the regression discontinuity design: A density test," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 142(2), pages 698-714, February.
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