The role of financial aid in college access and success is immense. Lack of adequate financing of education make many students from low income backgrounds fail to realize their educational aspirations (Reindl, 2007). It is from this premise that obstacles which accompany financial aid to low income students come to fore. The influence of aid on the enrollment persistence of students consists of interrelated factors which include timing, amount and type of aid and how they correlate with persistence among other attributes that relate to students (Pascarella & Terenzini 2005)
Although it is prudent to consider the positive implications of financial aid to needy students, especially those of the minority groups that have felt sidelined for long, the question of how best to carry out the financing should be looked into. Many a student in higher education fails to achieve high academic performance due to their inability to focus on academics prompted by frustrated efforts to get financing. Financiers of the education of such student need to look into their procedures to be followed by students seeking financing of their education.
This is in terms of the conditions to be satisfied by the needy students as well as the length of time the financial assistance will take before the recipient gets his / her college account credited. The reason for this is that not all institutions have provision for late arrival of the aid. The implication therefore if the aid delays is that the student will be forced to be out of the institution for some time, a matter which may make them fail to do their exams, tutorials, researches and vital lessons.
In the long run such students will have low aggregate points and consequently failing to achieve their r personal educational and life goals. When the aid delays, or when the procedures to be followed in securing one prove to be too taxing, students get undue stress. This has far reaching implications both in terms of their health and general academic performance. In the long run, assistance will be a problem added to their financial incapacitation (Immerwahr 2003). Literature review Several researches have been undertaken on the problems that students under finance aid scheme face.
Most of them point to the fact that financial aid can be an impediment and not a solution to students’ academic issues related to finance especially if the student fraternity is not informed of the availability and procedures In his journal “With diploma in Hand: Hispanic High School Seniors Talk about Their Future”, Immerwahr, J. (2003) uses interviews to highlight the challenges that these students faced in college as far as financial aid among other things are concerned. He interviewed 50 Hispanic High School seniors in San Antonio, Santa Clara Tucson, Chicago and New York.
His findings were that many students on financial aid had difficulties at the end of it all because the aid was unpredictable making the students to be stressed. This is echoed by Stampen and Cabrera, (2007) who used questionnaires and interviews in their quest to know the effects of financial aid packaging on attrition and Pascarella and Terenzini (2005) in their journal How College Affects Students: A Third Decade of Research who use the same methods to expound on what affects students in college.
A variety of issues are raised including the moral and social growth for some and despair for those dependent on finance aid which in most cases is unpredictable. Students may also fail to estimate how much in terms of amount of aid they require. The amount they get can be less than what is sufficient for them to complete their education. The aid that they get can be in the form of loans, work study opportunities or grants and scholarships. In the case of work study opportunities, the students may not get sufficient time for their studies as they are required to work also.
This creates a lot of stress on the aid beneficiaries according to Voorhees (2005). Voorhees used on campus surveys in drafting his Student finances and campus? based financial aid: a structural model analysis of the persistence of high? need freshmen. Bias in aid allocation translates into variables exhibited by students in terms of their academic performance (Titus, 2006; Rubin, 2004). Using propensity score matching, it was established that there is a significant difference between financially aided and unaided students.
Results based on five thousand freshmen at a public university in the US and retention in second year before and after noting their GPA and math experience showed that there is a relationship between aid influence and enrollment persistence (Adelman, 2004; Pascarella & Terenzini, 2005) When looking at the issue of aid extension to low-income students, it is imperative that women be also assisted. This is because they are more likely to be affected more than their male counterparts, in most cases being affected by stress when they fail to secure aid in time to enhance their studies.
Financial aid influences the retention of students based on their estimated family contribution. The challenge here is that those students whose families’ contribution is less than $4000 have higher chances of getting lower GPA’s (Adelman, 2004; Pascarella & Terenzini, 2005) Methodology and Findings Since there are individual disparities that may affect the performance of the students who may be getting the same financial aid, this study used propensity score matching model which cater for the variables that may be of demography nature, or pre-college experiences.
The new freshmen were categorized into those that get aid in form of loans or grants and those that do not get any aid at all. The two groups were then subjected to a comparison, that is, those that get aid package vis-a-vis those without any aid in their first year. The group that did not get any aid was called untreated. The methodology used (estimated propensity score) helps in ridding the bias based on self-selection. The effects of aid bias may not be fully accounted for using this method of study (Titus, 2006; Lunceford & Davidian, 2004) as other unaccounted for reasons may come into interplay.
The amount that the students are able to get from their families affect the outcome of the study. It categorized the students in terms of those who could pay for their education and those who could not. In the findings that have been tabulated, the columns that are unmatched show the effect of aid without making a match of students on propensity for aid assistance. The matched average effect column is used as a control for the bias in aid selection.
The matched average untreated and matched average treated give the probable retention results if the aided student(s) had not been aided or if the unaided one had received some financial assistance. Matched students with an average possibility of receiving aid are more likely to persist into their second year of studies compared to those with low aid chance. This study furnishes separate estimates by EFC in gauging the influence that financial aid has on student retention. An EFC of 4000 dollars and less encompasses students from low- income background eligible for grants.
These students got an aid of between $2000 and $ 3000 in their first year while middle income students with $ 4000-10000 receive between $ 800- 900 aids. Those with Expected Family Contribution (EFC) of more than $ 10000 receive less to no aid at all, only relying on merit-based aid. They however show a greater possibility of remaining in college in their next academic year as compared to their aided counterparts who have higher remaining need after using their aids to pay for schooling.
There is no correlation between the net persistence of students with $ 4000-$10000 EFC in their GPA or math experience and the aid they receive. Gift aid for those with high EFC increases their persistence by 18% meaning that the more EFC these students have, the better they work towards their academic endeavors (Dowd, 2004). The following are the tabular summaries of the information obtained from the study. Not all parts of the study have been tabulated but only the seminal ones.
From the literature analysis and the results of this study, some issues are apparent: Financial aid to low- income students may greatly hamper their studies if we look at the securing of the finances. If the aid delays, the students get stressed up and may therefore not concentrate in class. Those who do not know the whole procedure get more problems because their studies are hampered. The effect of the Expected Family Contribution on the capability of the learner to proceed to the next year has been shown. The less the EFC a student is capable of raising, the lower their performance and possibility of proceeding to the next year.
Those with EFC of more than 10000 dollars show no effect if not given an aid but show considerable possibility of proceeding to the next year and also of passing well. References Adelman, C. (2007). Do we really have a college access problem? Change (July? August): 48? 51. Bodvarsson, O. B. & Walker, R. L. (2004): Do parental cash transfers weaken performance in college? Economics of Education Review 23: 483? 495. Caison, A. L. (2006): Analysis of institutionally specific retention research: A comparison between survey and institutional database methods.
Research in Higher Education 48(4): 435? 451. Dowd, A. (2004): Income and financial aid effects on persistence and degree attainment in public colleges; Education Policy Analysis and Archives, 12(21). Herzog, S. (2005): Measuring determinants of student return vs. dropout vs. transfer: a First-to-second year analysis of new freshmen; Research in Higher Education 46 Immerwahr, J (2003): With Diploma in Hand: High School Senior Talk about Their Future. NCPPHE (8): 883? 928. Lunceford, J. K. , and Davidian, M. (2004): Stratification and weighting via the propensity score