Can Student Loans Improve Accessibility to Higher Education and Student Performance? An Impact Study of the Case of Sofes, Mexico
46 Pages Posted: 20 Apr 2016
Date Written: October 2004
Financial aid to students in tertiary education can contribute to human capital accumulation through two channels - increased enrollment and improved student performance. Canton and Blom analyze the quantitative importance of both channels in the context of a student loan program (SOFES) implemented at private universities in Mexico. With regard to the first channel, enrollment, results from the Mexican household survey indicate that financial support has a strong positive effect on university enrollment. Given completion of upper secondary education, the probability of entering higher education rises 24 percent. The authors use two data sources to investigate the second channel, student performance. They analyze administrative data provided by SOFES using a regression-discontinuity design, and survey data enable them to perform a similar analysis using a different control group. Empirical results suggest that SOFES recipients show better academic performance than students without a credit from SOFES. However, the results cannot be interpreted as a purely causal impact of the student loan program, since the impacts also could reflect (self-) selection of students.
This paper - a product of the Human Development Sector Unit, Latin America and the Caribbean Region - is part of a larger effort in the region to measure and evaluate the impact of the unit's programs.
JEL Classification: I2, J24
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation