ERIC Number: EJ1126761
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2017-Feb
Abstractor: As Provided
To Apply or Not to Apply: FAFSA Completion and Financial Aid Gaps
Kofoed, Michael S.
Research in Higher Education, v58 n1 p1-39 Feb 2017
In the United States, college students must complete the Free Application for Student Federal Aid (FAFSA) to access federal aid. However, many eligible students do not apply and consequently forgo significant amounts of financial aid. If students have perfect information about aid eligibility, we would expect that all eligible students complete FAFSA and no aid would go unclaimed. Using data from the National Postsecondary Student Aid Survey, I estimate a multinomial logit model which controls for all variables that contribute to aid eligibility and other student characteristics that may deter FAFSA completion. I find that students who are lower middle income, white, male and independent from parents are less likely to complete FAFSA even when they are eligible for aid. Using propensity score matching, I find that each year applicants forgo $9,741.05 in total aid (including grant and loan aid) which includes $1,281.00 of Pell Grants, $2,439.50 of the balance subsidized student loans, $1,986.65 of the balance of unsubsidized student loans, and $1,016.04 of institutional grants. These aid totals aggregate to $24 billion annually.
Descriptors: College Applicants, Student Financial Aid, Eligibility, Statistical Analysis, Student Surveys, College Students, Student Characteristics, Grants, Paying for College, Student Attitudes
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: Higher Education; Postsecondary Education
Authoring Institution: N/A