Implications of Financial Aid
Friday, November 13, 2015: 10:15 AM-11:45 AM
Tuttle Center (Hyatt Regency Miami)
*Names in bold indicate Presenter
Panel Organizers: Kelli Bird, University of Virginia
Panel Chairs: Benjamin L. Castleman, University of Virginia
Discussants: Jonathan Smith, The College Board and Angela Boatman, Vanderbilt University
Given the increasing importance of a college degree in the labor market coupled with continually rising tuition costs, how prospective students pay for college has never been a more important issue. During the 2012-13 academic year, nearly $250 billion in financial aid were awarded to students in higher education (The College Board, 2013), with nearly 70% of these dollars coming from the federal government. The papers in this panel examine the implications of various financial aid policies, from federal grants to state-sponsored grants to federal veterans’ benefits. Using rich sources of student-level data and causal inference methods, the papers in this panel find significant and meaningful effects of financial aid receipt on college enrollment, college success, and labor market decisions. However, building on the research documenting the barriers to financial aid, this panel also shows that financial aid policies can significantly affect the equitable distribution of financial aid. This panel will provide a well-rounded, timely, and rigorous discussion of how financial aid policies affect students’ ability to succeed in college.