Completion Grants: An Evaluation of Experimental Findings on College Attainment
This working paper explores findings from the network study Affording Degree Completion: A Study of Completion Grants at Accessible Public Universities and presents potential implications.
From the website: "Financial shortfalls in the final years of college, created by escalating costs and/or declining financial aid, lead many students to leave college without degrees in hand. Completion grants, an increasingly popular approach to improving college completion, provide additional financial support to students struggling with financial hurdles during the final stretch of their degree program. While there is descriptive and anecdotal evidence that these programs may have positive impacts, this study offers the first analysis of the causal impact of completion grants on academic outcomes at 11 broad- and open-access universities. We find no evidence of positive impacts on academic outcomes for students in the aggregate or for students parsed by identifiable subgroups. Standard completion grant programs may be exacerbating inequality, not ameliorating it."