A new working paper (PDF; abstract) from economists Michael F. Lovenheim and Emily G. Owens examines the effects of federal financial aid, a somewhat controversial issue during last fall’s campaign, on the college attendance of students with drug convictions. From the abstract:
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In 2001, amendments to the Higher Education Act made people convicted of drug offenses ineligible for federal financial aid for up to two years after their conviction. Using rich data on educational outcomes and drug charges in the NLSY 1997, we show that this law change had a large negative impact on the college attendance of students with drug convictions. On average, the temporary ban on federal financial aid increased the amount of time between high school graduation and college enrollment by about two years, and we also present suggestive evidence that affected students were less likely to ever enroll in college. Students living in urban areas and those whose mothers did not attend college appear to be the most affected by these amendments.
If a picture is worth a thousand words, then a few Economic Policy Institute snapshots might be the Great Novel of our time. A few weeks ago, Heidi Shierholz at EPI brought us yet another harrowing tale from the front lines of the recession generation. In an “Economic Snapshot,” she writes:
As college students head back to the classroom this semester, a harsh reality confronts them — the rewards for the time, energy, and money that young people put into college are less than they were a decade ago. Since 2000, America’s young college graduates have seen wages, adjusted for inflation, deteriorate. This lack of wage growth may be particularly surprising to those used to reading about the vast unfilled need for college graduates, which if true would lead to increases in their earnings.
But how is this happening? Maybe it has something to do with a more recent snapshot from Lawrence Mishel at EPI on the growing wealth gap in America. He writes: Read More »
A short paper recently released by Mark Kantrowitz, publisher of Fastweb.com and FinAid.org, is shaking up the discussion of race and financial aid – specifically, Kantrowitz writes that white students are disproportionately more likely to receive financial aid than their minority counterparts. Kantrowitz’s intro reads as follows:
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This paper presents data concerning the distribution of grants and scholarships by race. It debunks the race myth, which claims that minority students receive more than their fair share of scholarships. The reality is that minority students are less likely to win private scholarships or receive merit-based institutional grants than Caucasian students. Among undergraduate students enrolled full-time/full-year in Bachelor’s degree programs at four-year colleges and universities, minority students represent about a third of applicants but slightly more than a quarter of private scholarship recipients. Caucasian students receive more than three-quarters (76%) of all institutional merit-based scholarship and grant funding, even though they represent less than two-thirds (62%) of the student population. Caucasian students are 40% more likely to win private scholarships than minority students.