Dissertation/Thesis Abstract

Assessing the Causal Impact of Pell Grant Eligibility on Student Persistence with a Regression Discontunuity Design
by Kwon, Jihye, Ph.D., Indiana University, 2019, 147; 27671655
Abstract (Summary)

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.

Indexing (document details)
Advisor: Borden, Victor M. H.
Commitee: Pike, Gary, Hossler, Donald, Lochmiller, Chad
School: Indiana University
Department: School of Education
School Location: United States -- Indiana
Source: DAI-A 81/7(E), Dissertation Abstracts International
Source Type: DISSERTATION
Subjects: Higher education, Education finance, Educational psychology
Keywords: Pell Grants, Regression discontinuity, Student persistence
Publication Number: 27671655
ISBN: 9781392490914
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