Report: Minimal financial aid gaps yield sizeable effects on dropout rate
- A new study from EAB reveals that a majority of students, regardless of academic performance or affluence, are likely to drop out with lapses in financial aid, even with minimal gaps of $1,500 or less.
- Students with grade-point averages above 3.0 with losses in financial aid are nearly 3% more likely to drop out, and students below that GPA threshold with gaps between $2,000 and $4,000 are 8% more likely to discontinue degree pursuit.
- Students from middle class families who receive $1,500 to $2,000 in financial aid support are 3% more likely to persist in degree completion.
Financial aid support may appear to be the biggest no-brainer statistic in all of higher education analysis, but gap funding and scholarships are a critical element to increasing retention and graduation rates for all kinds of students.
States like Tennessee and North Carolina have successfully argued for implementation of community college pipelines, with arguments largely built upon the student affordability question. For college leaders, the ability to lobby for institutional support and need-based aid while many states are eyeing community college expansion and access will depend upon the metrics that can show how just a little bit of additional funding goes a long way for many students.