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Does student financial aid cause more participation in and graduation from university?

TitleDoes student financial aid cause more participation in and graduation from university?
Year of Publication2009
AuthorsChemin, M.
JournalMESA Project Research Paper
Keywordsgraduation rates, persistence rates, post-secondary education, student financial aid

To isolate the causal impact of student financial aid on post-secondary outcomes, the existing literature has mostly used difference-in-differences with repeated cross-sections. However, results may be driven by the changing composition of groups, which may be endogenous to the reform. In contrast, this paper uses a longitudinal dataset of approximately 23,000 individuals over eight years, coupled with a 2001 Quebec reform that significantly altered the calculation of student financial aid. Following the reform, the probability to get grants and access post-secondary education increases. No impact is found on graduation rates. These results cast doubt on the reform's efficacy.

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