Understanding Educational Outcomes of Students from Low Income Families: Evidence from a Liberal Arts College with a Full Tuition Subsidy Program
Issues related to the schooling attainment of children from low income families arise frequently in current education policy debates. In part due to a recent increase in the disparity between the wages of college graduates and the wages of individuals with less than a college degree, there has been a specific interest in understanding why a very high percentage of children from low income families do not graduate from college and why the college graduation rates of children from low income families are substantially lower than those of children from other families. Using unique new data obtained directly from a high-quality liberal arts college that maintains a full tuition subsidy program (and large room and board subsidies) for all students, this paper provides direct evidence that reasons unrelated to the direct costs of college are very important in explaining these realities.
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