More than Dollars for Scholars: The Impact of the Dell Scholars Program on College Access, Persistence and Degree Attainment
75 Pages Posted: 3 Feb 2016 Last revised: 10 Oct 2017
Date Written: October 9, 2017
Socioeconomic inequalities in college completion have widened over time. A critical question is how to support low-income and first-generation students to achieve college success. We investigate one effort, the Dell Scholars Program, which provides a combination of financial support and individualized advising to selected students who attend institutions throughout the US. Using two quasi-experimental analytic strategies, regression discontinuity and difference-in-differences with a matched comparison sample, we find consistent evidence that being selected as a Dell Scholar leads to substantially higher rates of bachelor’s degree completion within six years as well improvements on multiple other measures of college success.
Keywords: college completion, low-income students, scholarship, college advising
JEL Classification: I21
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