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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. 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.
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  3. 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.
  4. 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.
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  6. Katharine G Abraham Melissa Clark, 2003. "Financial Aid and Students College Decisions Evidence from the District of Columbias Tuition Assistance Grant Program," Mathematica Policy Research Reports 328d6cb850c54baa8e93795d5, Mathematica Policy Research.
  7. Susan Dynarski & Judith E. Scott-Clayton, 2008. "Complexity and Targeting in Federal Student Aid: A Quantitative Analysis," NBER Working Papers 13801, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  8. David S. Lee & Thomas Lemieux, 2010. "Regression Discontinuity Designs in Economics," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 48(2), pages 281-355, June.
  9. repec:mpr:mprres:3250 is not listed on IDEAS
  10. 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.
  11. Guido Imbens & Thomas Lemieux, 2007. "Regression Discontinuity Designs: A Guide to Practice," NBER Technical Working Papers 0337, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  12. Guido Imbens & Karthik Kalyanaraman, 2010. "Optimal bandwidth choice for the regression discontinuity estimator," CeMMAP working papers CWP05/10, Centre for Microdata Methods and Practice, Institute for Fiscal Studies.
  13. 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).
  14. Goodman, Joshua, 2008. "Who merits financial aid?: Massachusetts' Adams Scholarship," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 92(10-11), pages 2121-2131, October.
  15. Dynarski, Susan, 2005. "Building the Stock of College-Educated Labor," Working Paper Series rwp05-050, Harvard University, John F. Kennedy School of Government.
  16. 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.
  17. 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.
  18. John Bound & Sarah E. Turner, 1999. "Going to War and Going to College: Did World War II and the G.I. Bill Increase Educational Attainment for Returning Veterans?," NBER Working Papers 7452, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  19. 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.
  20. 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.
  21. 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.
  22. Susan Dynarski & Mark Wiederspan, 2012. "Student Aid Simplification: Looking Back and Looking Ahead," NBER Working Papers 17834, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
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