Student Aid and Its Role in Encouraging Persistence
For more than 3 decades, scholars and practitioners have speculated on the extent to which financial aid increases the odds of students completing their degrees. While the impact of financial aid on persistence has been studied a great deal, we know relatively little about the impact of aid on graduation. This chapter provides a comprehensive review of the extant research on how student financial aid affects undergraduate student persistence and graduation. In this pursuit, 74 articles, chapters, and monographs published after 1990 were reviewed to shed light on (a) how the studies define student persistence and student financial aid, (b) the summative knowledge of the relative effects of grants and loans on within-year persistence, continuous enrollment, and graduation, (c) how the existing studies were able to untangle the effects of merit- and need-based aid, and (d) the effect of debt on student persistence.
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