Federal financial aid and postsecondary success for low-income students
This research will investigate how low-income and first-generation students respond financially and academically to financial aid austerity by exploiting a 2011 change that the U.S. Congress made to Pell grant eligibility that affected nearly 286,000 students. As a result, an estimated 12,000 students were eliminated from eligibility for a Pell grant, and 274,000 students received fewer grant dollars. The project will estimate the impact of this sudden unexpected loss in financial aid on college attendance, financial aid, and labor supply outcomes for low-income college students using a combination of restricted-use data from the Beginning Postsecondary Students survey and the National Postsecondary Student Aid Study. The researcher will use the panel nature of the data to track changes in outcomes for students from one academic year to the next. A regression discontinuity design will be employed to estimate the causal effect of the loss on various educational and labor market outcomes.