How does financial aid affect postsecondary enrollment, college choice, and student composition? We present new evidence based on a large-scale program available to high-achieving, low-income students for attending high-quality colleges in Colombia. RD estimates show financial aid eligibility raised immediate enrollment by 56.5 to 86.5 percent, depending on the complier population. This rise, driven by matriculation at private, high-quality colleges, closed the SES enrollment gap among high achievers. Moreover, a DID approach suggests enrollment of aid-ineligible students also improved because college supply expanded in response to heightened demand. With ability stratification largely replacing SES stratification, diversity increased 46 percent at private, high-quality colleges.
Londoño-Vélez, Juliana, Catherine Rodríguez, and Fabio Sánchez.
"Upstream and Downstream Impacts of College Merit-Based Financial Aid for Low-Income Students: Ser Pilo Paga in Colombia."
American Economic Journal: Economic Policy,
Educational Finance; Financial Aid
Higher Education; Research Institutions
Education and Inequality
Returns to Education
Human Capital; Skills; Occupational Choice; Labor Productivity
Economic Development: Human Resources; Human Development; Income Distribution; Migration