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Title:The impact of the Illinois Promise Grant on college graduation
Author(s):Gershenfeld, Susan C
Director of Research:Zhan, Min
Doctoral Committee Chair(s):Zhan, Min
Doctoral Committee Member(s):Korr, Wynne; Hood, Denice Ward; Wu, Chi-Fang
Department / Program:School of Social Work
Discipline:Social Work
Degree Granting Institution:University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
Subject(s):Loan replacement grant
Low-income students
Abstract:The purpose of this study is to examine the impact of the Illinois Promise grant on four and five-year graduation rates. As a loan replacement or last-dollar grant, Illinois Promise covers the difference between other grants and scholarships and educational costs for low-income students for up to four years at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. The study also tests the impact of loans and non-loans on graduation. A quasi-experimental design using Propensity Score Matching is employed for first-time, full-time students enrolled as freshman from fall, 2007 through fall, 2010. Eligibility criteria are used to construct the comparison group of one-to-one matches for a total of 868 low-income students in examining four-year graduation rates and a subset of 414 students in assessing five-year graduation rates. Demographic, pre-college, and academic control variables available through institutional data are utilized in multivariate logistic regression models. Results show students receiving the I-Promise grant graduate at higher percentage rates in years four and five, with year five being statistically significant in the full multivariate regression model. Specifically, the odds ratio of graduating within five years is 2.3 times more likely for I-Promise students in relation to the low-income comparison group. Financial nexus theory is used in explaining these results. There is not statistical significance in the full multivariate four and five year models with either loans or non-loans predicting college graduation. However, the contrast in the levels of loans and non-loans between the treatment and comparison groups may not be large enough to impact graduation. Academic factors explain more of the variance in predicting college graduation for low-income students than financial aid variables.
Issue Date:2016-06-28
Rights Information:Copyright 2016 Susan Gershenfeld
Date Available in IDEALS:2016-11-10
Date Deposited:2016-08

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