NATIONAL BUREAU OF ECONOMIC RESEARCH
NATIONAL BUREAU OF ECONOMIC RESEARCH
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Alex Schmidt

University of Wisconsin-Madison
8128 Social Science Bldg.
Madison, WI 53706

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Institutional Affiliation: University of Wisconsin-Madison

NBER Working Papers and Publications

November 2019The Effects of Financial Aid Grant Offers on Postsecondary Educational Outcomes: New Experimental Evidence from the Fund for Wisconsin Scholars
with Deven E. Carlson, Felix Elwert, Nicholas Hillman, Barbara L. Wolfe: w26419
In this pre-registered study, we analyze the effects of need-based financial aid grant offers on the educational outcomes of low-income college students based on a large-scale randomized experiment (n=48,804). We find evidence that the grant offers increase two-year persistence by 1.7 percentage points among four-year college students. The estimated effect on six-year bachelor’s degree completion is of similar size—1.5 percentage points—but is not statistically significant. Among two-year students, we find positive—but not statistically significant—effects on persistence and bachelor’s degree completion (1.2 and 0.5 percentage points, respectively). We find little evidence that effects vary by cohort, race, gender or the prior receipt of food stamps. However, further exploratory results do...
 
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