The Influence of the Pell Grant on Degree Production: A Panel Data Analysis

An increased amount of energy and effort has been focused on higher education and degree attainment in the United States. President Obama has recently tied the Pell grants into the discussion as a central point in his proposed system of higher education accountability. However, the influence of the Pell grant on degree production has not been examined through any research. This paper addresses this void in the literature utilizing panel data analysis covering all 50 states between 2000 and 2010. Overall, the Pell grant was found not to be a statistically significant predictor of state bachelor’s degree production. These findings may have implications for how the Pell grant is funded and tuition policies are set within states.

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