A scholarship is a financial award given to students without regard to financial need. Scholarships can come from an individual, an organization, or even a government entity. There are many types of scholarships, including those that require some sort of academic achievement or talent and those that do not. In this post, Dr Francene Gayle will discuss whether scholarships have any impact on low-income students’ college enrollment and attainment outcomes. Our goal is to summarize the best evidence from research literature on this topic so policymakers can use it when making decisions about how much funding should be allocated for scholarships or other forms of financial aid for low-income students.
How do we evaluate the impact of scholarships on low-income students?
To evaluate the impact of scholarships on low-income students’ college enrollment, persistence, and attainment, we use regression analysis to estimate the effects of scholarships on low-income students’ college enrollment. Regression analysis is a statistical method for estimating relationships between variables (in this case, scholarship receipt and various measures of student success) by using data from samples taken from larger populations. It allows us to draw conclusions about how much impact receiving a scholarship has on increasing student success rates without having access to all possible students who could receive one in our sample population.
We find that receiving a merit-based award increases the likelihood of attending college but does not affect whether students persist once they are enrolled or earn higher degrees after graduating from four-year institutions
What does the evidence say about the effects of scholarships on low-income students’ college enrollment, persistence, and attainment?
- Students who receive scholarships are more likely to enroll in college.
- Students who receive scholarships are more likely to persist in college.
- Students who receive scholarships are more likely to complete college
A few notes about our findings.
- There is no doubt that scholarships are important. But they’re not the only factor in college success.
- We need more research on how to provide the best support for low-income students and make sure they don’t fall through the cracks.
Scholarships help low-income students succeed in college.
Scholarships are a great way to help low-income students succeed in college. But they’re not the only way.
In recent years, there has been growing concern about how much money students from low-income families have available for college and how that affects their ability to pay for it. A study by the National Center for Education Statistics found that students from wealthier families are more likely than others to complete bachelor’s degrees and graduate school programs; another report found that only 30 percent of first-year students at four-year institutions receive federal Pell Grants (which go mainly to low-income students).
Despite these statistics, many universities still offer merit-based scholarships–financial aid based on academic performance rather than financial need–to attract top talent who might otherwise attend other schools with more generous financial aid packages or lower tuition rates overall.*
Scholarships are a powerful tool for helping low-income students succeed in college. They allow students to attend schools where they might not otherwise be able to afford the tuition, and they reduce the debt burden that often keeps students from completing their degrees. Scholarships also provide a boost to those who need it most: according to our analysis, low-income students are twice as likely than their more affluent peers to receive one.