Giving Up or Moving On? Estimating the Effects of Losing Access to State Financial Aid on Postsecondary Trajectories

Awarded Scholars:
George Spencer, University of Georgia
Project Date:
Mar 2021
Award Amount:

Although state merit-based grants provide resources to facilitate college access, these programs also function to further perpetuate inequalities in higher education. In addition to eligibility constraints on the front end, most programs also require continuing college students to maintain a baseline level of academic performance in order to continue receiving financial assistance. The implications of losing grant aid are likely to be heterogeneous across socioeconomic groups given the tenuous affordability of college. In particular, less advantaged students may struggle to persist if grant funding is withdrawn, but how individuals respond to the loss of aid and how this affects their degree progress is still unclear. To advance our understanding of the implications associated with the criteria for merit-based award retention, Spencer will estimate the causal effects of losing state grant aid among undergraduates who were initially awarded the HOPE scholarship in Georgia.


RSF: The Russell Sage Foundation Journal of the Social Sciences is a peer-reviewed, open-access journal of original empirical research articles by both established and emerging scholars.


The Russell Sage Foundation offers grants and positions in our Visiting Scholars program for research.


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