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Born Under a Lucky Star: Financial Aid, College Completion, Labor Supply, and Credit Constraints

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  • Jeffrey T. Denning

    (Brigham Young University)

Abstract

Higher education has experienced many changes since the 1970s, including an increase in the price of college, an increase in student employment during college, a decrease in college completion rates, and an increase in time to degree. This paper ties these trends together by causally linking changes in financial aid with time to degree and student employment during college. I find that additional financial aid accelerates graduation for university seniors because they increase credits attempted and reduce earnings while in college. In reaching this finding, I use administrative education and earnings data to examine a discrete change in the amount of federal financial aid available to financially independent students. The estimates in this paper imply that roughly 50 percent of the observed increase in time to degree can be explained by changes in tuition.

Suggested Citation

  • Jeffrey T. Denning, 2017. "Born Under a Lucky Star: Financial Aid, College Completion, Labor Supply, and Credit Constraints," Upjohn Working Papers and Journal Articles 17-267, W.E. Upjohn Institute for Employment Research.
  • Handle: RePEc:upj:weupjo:17-267
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    Cited by:

    1. José Montalbán, 2019. "Countering moral hazard in higher education: The role of performance incentives in need-based grants," Working Papers halshs-02160365, HAL.
    2. Denning, Jeffrey T. & Jones, Todd R., 2019. "Maxed Out? The Effect of Larger Student Loan Limits on Borrowing and Education Outcomes," IZA Discussion Papers 12239, Institute of Labor Economics (IZA).
    3. Zachary Mabel, 2020. "Aiding or Dissuading? The Effects of Reducing Lifetime Eligibility Limits for Need-Based Aid on Bachelor’s Degree Attainment and Time to Completion," Research in Higher Education, Springer;Association for Institutional Research, vol. 61(8), pages 966-1001, December.
    4. Martin Gervais & Nicolas L. Ziebarth, 2019. "Life After Debt: Postgraduation Consequences Of Federal Student Loans," Economic Inquiry, Western Economic Association International, vol. 57(3), pages 1342-1366, July.
    5. Jeffrey T. Denning & Benjamin M. Marx & Lesley J. Turner, 2019. "ProPelled: The Effects of Grants on Graduation, Earnings, and Welfare," American Economic Journal: Applied Economics, American Economic Association, vol. 11(3), pages 193-224, July.
    6. David Card & Alex Solis, 2020. "Measuring the Effect of Student Loans on College Persistence," NBER Working Papers 27269, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    7. Denning, Jeffrey T. & Eide, Eric R. & Warnick, Merrill, 2019. "Why Have College Completion Rates Increased?," IZA Discussion Papers 12411, Institute of Labor Economics (IZA).
    8. José Montalbán, 2019. "Countering moral hazard in higher education: The role of performance incentives in need-based grants," PSE Working Papers halshs-02160365, HAL.
    9. 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.
    10. Vivian Yuen Ting Liu, 2020. "Is School Out for the Summer? The Impact of Year-Round Pell Grants on Academic and Employment Outcomes of Community College Students," Education Finance and Policy, MIT Press, vol. 15(2), pages 241-269, Spring.
    11. Solis, Alex, 2019. "Measuring the Effect of Student Loans on the College Dropout Rate," Working Paper Series 2019:8, Uppsala University, Department of Economics.
    12. Stephanie R. Cellini & Rajeev Darolia & Lesley J. Turner, 2020. "Where Do Students Go When For-Profit Colleges Lose Federal Aid?," American Economic Journal: Economic Policy, American Economic Association, vol. 12(2), pages 46-83, May.
    13. Gicheva, Dora & Anand, Priyanka, 2020. "The Impact of the ACA Medicaid Expansions on the Employment and Academic Progress of College Students," UNCG Economics Working Papers 20-3, University of North Carolina at Greensboro, Department of Economics.
    14. Christopher Erwin & Melissa Binder & Cynthia Miller & Kate Krause, 2020. "Performance-based aid, enhanced advising, and the income gap in college graduation: Evidence from a randomized controlled trial," Working Papers 2020-06, Auckland University of Technology, Department of Economics.
    15. Zachary Mabel, 0. "Aiding or Dissuading? The Effects of Reducing Lifetime Eligibility Limits for Need-Based Aid on Bachelor’s Degree Attainment and Time to Completion," Research in Higher Education, Springer;Association for Institutional Research, vol. 0, pages 1-36.
    16. Anderson, Drew M., 2020. "When financial aid is scarce: The challenge of allocating college aid where it is needed most," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 190(C).
    17. Francesca Modena & Giulia Martina Tanzi & Santiago Pereda Fernandez, 2020. "On the design of grant assignment rules," Temi di discussione (Economic working papers) 1307, Bank of Italy, Economic Research and International Relations Area.
    18. Patterson, Richard W. & Patterson, Robert M., 2017. "Computers and productivity: Evidence from laptop use in the college classroom," Economics of Education Review, Elsevier, vol. 57(C), pages 66-79.
    19. Sandra E. Black & Jeffrey T. Denning & Lisa J. Dettling & Sarena Goodman & Lesley J. Turner, 2020. "Taking It to the Limit: Effects of Increased Student Loan Availability on Attainment, Earnings, and Financial Well-Being," NBER Working Papers 27658, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    20. Facchini, Marta & Triventi, Moris & Vergolini, Loris, 2019. "Do Grants Improve the Outcomes of University Students in a Context with High Dropout Rates? Evidence from a Matching Approach," SocArXiv k3gwv, Center for Open Science.
    21. Bergman, Peter & Denning, Jeffrey T. & Manoli, Dayanand, 2017. "Broken Tax Breaks? Evidence from a Tax Credit Information Experiment with 1,000,000 Students," IZA Discussion Papers 10997, Institute of Labor Economics (IZA).
    22. Anderson, Drew M. & Goldrick-Rab, Sara, 2018. "Aid after enrollment: Impacts of a statewide grant program at public two-year colleges," Economics of Education Review, Elsevier, vol. 67(C), pages 148-157.

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    More about this item

    Keywords

    financial aid; labor supply; college completion;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • I22 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Education - - - Educational Finance; Financial Aid
    • D14 - Microeconomics - - Household Behavior - - - Household Saving; Personal Finance
    • H52 - Public Economics - - National Government Expenditures and Related Policies - - - Government Expenditures and Education

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