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Bridget Terry Long
What is Known About the Impact of Financial Aid? Implications for Policy
National Center for Postsecondary Research
Research review of the effectiveness of aid and the implications for policy. Suggests additional research with specific policy steps is needed.
Article states several widely accepted and seemingly obvious ideas about financial aid and suggests the need for additonal research. Article indicates that despite history of aid the likelihood of college attendance varies with family income. Simply increasing aid amounts is not the answer- awareness and preparation are big factors. Program design is important and simpler things, including a simplified FAFSA, would be better. Grants may be both more effective in the short term and cheaper in the long run. Need-based aid is important in increasing access for low-income students. Financial aid alone cannot solve access and enrollment problems. Article notes there is no evidence to support the tuition aid spiral hypothesis. --MS
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