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NATIONAL BUREAU OF ECONOMIC RESEARCH

NBER Publications by Benjamin L. Castleman

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August 2013Looking Beyond Enrollment: The Causal Effect of Need-Based Grants on College Access, Persistence, and Graduation
with Bridget Terry Long: w19306
The government has attempted to ameliorate gaps in college access and success by providing need-based grants, but little evidence exists on the long-term impacts of such aid. We examine the effects of the Florida Student Access Grant (FSAG) using a regression-discontinuity strategy and exploiting the cut-off used to determine eligibility. We find grant eligibility had a positive effect on attendance, particularly at public four-year institutions. Moreover, FSAG increased the rate of credit accumulation and bachelor’s degree completion within six years, with a 22 percent increase for students near the eligibility cutoff. The effects are robust to sensitivity analysis.

Forthcoming in the Journal of Labor Economics

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