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ERIC Number: ED531631
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 2012
Pages: 13
Abstractor: ERIC
Reference Count: N/A
Can Financial Aid Improve Student Success at Louisiana's Community Colleges? A Study of the Potential Impact of Redistributing State Gift Aid on the Success of Pell Grant Recipients
Crockett, Kevin; Heffron, Mark; Schneider, Mark
American Institutes for Research
In this report, the authors investigate the relationship between levels of financial aid and student success in Louisiana community colleges, with a focus on Pell Grant recipients. They measure success by whether a student earned a certificate or an associate's degree within three years of enrolling as a first-time full-time student or transferred to a four-year Louisiana university within the same timeframe. In this study, the authors use student unit record (SUR) data that have been merged with detailed information on student financial aid awards. This report is a companion to the authors' earlier study of the effects of grants and scholarships on student retention in Louisiana's four-year regional state university campuses. In that study, they concluded that by more effectively targeting its scholarships and grants (what we call "Gift Aid"), Louisiana could increase student retention while saving almost $400,000 per year. As this community college study is about to show, strategically targeting financial aid to increase the success of community college students appears to be far less likely to succeed. Findings from the current study show: (1) As the number of developmental courses in which a student enrolls increases, student success decreases; (2) Pell Grants do not overcome differences in success rates across income levels among students with equivalent academic preparation; (3) The level of community college students' Need Met With Gift Aid is weakly associated with completion; and (4) Higher levels of Need Met With Gift Aid are not associated with greater student success for students who took more than one developmental course. Comparison of Full-time and Part-time First-time Louisiana Community College Students Enrolled Fall 2006 and Fall 2007 data table is appended. (Contains 6 tables, 1 chart, and 6 footnotes.)
American Institutes for Research. 1000 Thomas Jefferson Street NW, Washington, DC 20007. Tel: 202-403-5000; Fax: 202-403-5001; e-mail:; Web site:
Publication Type: Numerical/Quantitative Data; Reports - Research
Education Level: Higher Education; Postsecondary Education; Two Year Colleges
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: Louisiana Board of Regents
Authoring Institution: American Institutes for Research; Noel-Levitz, Inc.
Identifiers - Location: Louisiana
Identifiers - Laws, Policies, & Programs: Pell Grant Program