Study Shows Targeted Financial Aid Increases Retention At Universities

Ann McClure's picture
Tuesday, December 6, 2011

As the University of Colorado and other colleges across the country aim to increase the retention rates of students, a new study finds that targeting need-based scholarships could help undergraduates earn degrees.

Targeting supplemental financial aid to students receiving Pell Grants -- federal funding available for the most financially needy students -- helped improve retention rates by more than 14 percent at colleges in Louisiana, according to the American Institutes for Research and Noel-Levitz, a consulting group.

The study was commissioned by higher education officials in Louisiana but could have implications for colleges nationwide.

Between 2003 and now, the CU system has increased institutional financial aid -- which includes grants and scholarships, but not loans -- from $38 million annually to $120 million annually.

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