Need-Based Financial Aid and College Persistence Experimental Evidence from Wisconsin

61 Pages Posted: 17 Jul 2011 Last revised: 15 Oct 2012

See all articles by Sara Goldrick-Rab

Sara Goldrick-Rab

University of Wisconsin - Madison

Doug Harris

University of Wisconsin - Madison

Robert Kelchen

Seton Hall University

James Benson

University of Wisconsin - Madison

Date Written: October 10, 2012

Abstract

We examine the impacts of a private need-based college financial aid program distributing grants at random among first-year Pell Grant recipients at thirteen public Wisconsin universities. The Wisconsin Scholars Grant of $3,500 per year required full-time attendance. Estimates based on four cohorts of students suggest that offering the grant increased completion of a full-time credit load and rates of re-enrollment for a second year of college. An increase of $1,000 in total financial aid received during a student’s first year of college was associated with a 2.8 to 4.1 percentage point increase in rates of enrollment for the second year.

Keywords: financial aid, college attainment

JEL Classification: C93, D03, H24, I23

Suggested Citation

Goldrick-Rab, Sara and Harris, Doug and Kelchen, Robert and Benson, James, Need-Based Financial Aid and College Persistence Experimental Evidence from Wisconsin (October 10, 2012). Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1887826 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.1887826

Sara Goldrick-Rab (Contact Author)

University of Wisconsin - Madison ( email )

716 Langdon Street
Madison, WI 53706-1481
United States

Doug Harris

University of Wisconsin - Madison ( email )

St. Charles Ave.
New Orleans, LA 70118
United States

Robert Kelchen

Seton Hall University ( email )

400 S Orange Avenue
South Orange, NJ 07079
United States

James Benson

University of Wisconsin - Madison ( email )

716 Langdon Street
Madison, WI 53706-1481
United States

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