April 2016

IZA DP No. 9888: Multifaceted Aid for Low-Income Students and College Outcomes: Evidence from North Carolina

published in: Economic Inquiry, 56(1), 278-303.

We study the evolution of a campus-based aid program for low-income students that began with grant-heavy financial aid and later added a suite of non-financial supports. We find little to no evidence that program eligibility during the early years (2004–2006), in which students received additional institutional grant aid and few non-financial supports, improved postsecondary progress, performance, or completion. In contrast, program-eligible students in more recent cohorts (2007–2010), when the program supplemented grant-heavy aid with an array of non-financial supports, were more likely to meet credit accumulation benchmarks toward timely graduation and earned higher GPAs than their barely ineligible counterparts.