NotesFAQContact Us
Search Tips
ERIC Number: ED534615
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 2012-Aug
Pages: 26
Abstractor: ERIC
Reference Count: 29
Economic Diversity among Selective Colleges: Measuring the Enrollment Impact of "No-Loan" Programs. Issue Brief
Hillman, Nicholas
Institute for Higher Education Policy
Students from low-income families are underrepresented in higher education, despite the fact that many of them are well qualified to enroll. When low-income students do enroll in college, they tend to be overrepresented in public community colleges and for-profit institutions, or if they attend four-year institutions, tend to attend regional state institutions. These institutions often have lower graduation rates, fewer academic resources for students, and lower faculty-to-student ratios. However, these institutions also charge lower tuition. As a result, they are desirable for many price-sensitive students, regardless of the students' academic achievement. Conversely, highly selective institutions have more academic resources for facilitating student success, and their students have greater chances of earning degrees. Highly selective institutions also charge significantly higher tuition. The sticker price of attending these colleges is often higher than the annual earnings of a low-income family, causing "sticker shock" for many interested students. As a result, few high-achieving students from low-income families enroll in highly selective institutions, despite the fact that they may be academically qualified to do so. In turn, highly selective institutions tend to enroll small proportions of low-income students. Some colleges and universities have often tried to increase the numbers of low-income students on their campuses through scholarship programs, need-blind admissions policies, or other efforts. More recently, some have adopted "no-loan" policies in order to expand access and choice for low-income students. Despite the spread of no-loan policies, little is known about the effects of this strategy on improving economic diversity at the participating institutions. To address this knowledge gap, this brief evaluates the impacts of no-loan policies on low-income student enrollment and assesses the length of time required after policy implementation for any observable effect to be realized. Two equations are appended. (Contains 7 figures, 6 tables, and 33 footnotes.)
Institute for Higher Education Policy. 1320 19th Street NW Suite 400, Washington, DC 20036. Tel: 202-861-8223; Fax: 202-861-9307; e-mail:; Web site:
Publication Type: Reports - Evaluative
Education Level: Higher Education; Postsecondary Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation
Authoring Institution: Institute for Higher Education Policy
Identifiers - Laws, Policies, & Programs: Pell Grant Program