The Pell Grant is designed to promote college access and success by providing financial support to low-income students. Despite the importance and intended influence of Pell Grants on students, there are surprisingly few studies that directly examine whether and how Pell Grants affect student persistence. This study investigates the causal impact of Pell Grant eligibility on college student persistence as well as the varying effect of the grant by different year enrollment. The data of study was extracted from Indiana University which include detailed student demographic, financial, academic, and enrollment information. A inclusive conceptual framework derived from economics, psychology, and sociology is proposed and guides a research methodology. In the analysis, regression discontinuity design was applied to examine the effect of Pell Grants on persistence to the second, third, fourth, and fifth years. This study found that Pell recipient students are less likely to persist to their second and third years compared to non-recipient students holding other financial, academic, social factors at the means. However, Pell recipients are more likely to persist or graduate in their fifth year compared to non-recipient students. This study contributes significantly to our understanding about how Pell Grants affect student persistence over a course of the college career. Based on main findings, this study recommends to provide a comprehensive service support to Pell Grants recipient students who are likely to have financial, academic, and personal challenges during their college career.
|Advisor:||Borden, Victor M. H.|
|Commitee:||Pike, Gary, Hossler, Donald, Lochmiller, Chad|
|Department:||School of Education|
|School Location:||United States -- Indiana|
|Source:||DAI-A 81/7(E), Dissertation Abstracts International|
|Subjects:||Higher education, Education finance, Educational psychology|
|Keywords:||Pell Grants, Regression discontinuity, Student persistence|
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