Priced Out? The Influence of Financial Aid on the Educational Trajectories of First-Year Students Starting College at a Large Research University

Daniel R. Jones-White, Peter M. Radcliffe, Linda M. Lorenz, Krista M. Soria

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

3 Scopus citations

Abstract

While the literature on postsecondary student success identifies important academic and social factors associated with student outcomes, one question that persists concerns the influence of financial aid. We use the National Student Clearinghouse's StudentTracker service to develop a more complete model of student success that accommodates opportunities for students to choose to either graduate from the university of first-entry, graduate from a transfer university, or depart from college without a degree. The multinomial regression model reveals differential effects of financial aid. Results suggest that loan aid appears to encourage students to search out alternative institutions or drop out of college entirely, and merit aid appears to increase the likelihood of students persisting and graduating from the university of first-entry.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)329-350
Number of pages22
JournalResearch in Higher Education
Volume55
Issue number4
DOIs
StatePublished - Jun 2014

Keywords

  • Financial aid
  • Graduation outcomes
  • Multinomial logit model
  • Student success

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