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Testing Means-Tested Aid?

Richard Murphy () and Gill Wyness ()
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Gill Wyness: UCL Institute of Education and Centre for Economic Performance, London School of Economics

No 15-10, DoQSS Working Papers from Quantitative Social Science - UCL Social Research Institute, University College London

Abstract: Billions of pounds per year is spent on aid for poor students in HE systems around the world, yet there remains limited evidence on the causal effect of these payments, particularly on the intensive margin. This is an empirical challenge since student aid is correlated with characteristics which influence both college enrolment and achievement. We overcome these challenges by studying a unique form of non-linear means tested financial aid which is unadvertised, varies substantially across institutions, and is subject to shifts in generosity across cohorts. Using student-level administrative data collected from 10 English universities, we study the effects of aid receipt on college completion rates, annual course scores, and degree class, using fixed effects and instrumental variables methods. Our findings suggest that each £1,000 of financial aid awarded increases the chances of gaining a good degree by around 3 percentage points, driven by completion of the final year and course scores.

Keywords: Higher Education; Financial Aid; Degree Completion (search for similar items in EconPapers)
JEL-codes: I22 I23 I28 (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2015-12-16
New Economics Papers: this item is included in nep-edu
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https://repec.ucl.ac.uk/REPEc/pdf/qsswp1510.pdf (application/pdf)

Related works:
Working Paper: Testing Means-Tested Aid (2016) Downloads
Working Paper: Testing Means-Tested Aid (2015) Downloads
Working Paper: Testing means-tested aid (2015) Downloads
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