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ERIC Number: EJ872867
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2010
Pages: 28
Abstractor: ERIC
Reference Count: 54
ISSN: ISSN-0022-1546
The Politics of Determining Merit Aid Eligibility Criteria: An Analysis of the Policy Process
Ness, Erik C.
Journal of Higher Education, v81 n1 p33-60 Jan-Feb 2010
Despite the scholarly attention on the effects of merit aid on college access and choice, particularly on the significant effect that states' varied eligibility criteria play, no studies have examined the policy process through which merit aid criteria are determined. This is surprising given the recent attention to state-level policy dynamics and decision making on other higher education issues such as statewide governance structures. In the vein of studies that rely on theoretical frameworks to explain complex decision making phenomena, this study aims to extend the conceptual understanding of the merit aid criteria determination process. Thus, formally stated, the two research questions guiding this study are: (1) How do states determine the initial eligibility criteria for merit aid programs? and (2) How will three theoretical frameworks--advocacy coalition, multiple streams, and electoral connection--explain the process by which states determine merit aid eligibility criteria? The conceptual findings of this study contribute to the understanding of the higher education policymaking process. In particular, this examination of the politics of merit aid criteria determination has relevance for both practical policy and theoretical research consideration. (Contains 1 table, 1 figure and 3 notes.)
Ohio State University Press. 180 Pressey Hall, 1070 Carmack Road, Columbus, OH 43210-1002. Tel: 614-292-1407; Fax: 614-292-2065; Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: Higher Education; Postsecondary Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: New Mexico; Tennessee; West Virginia