Books and Book Chapters by University of Dayton Faculty

Student Aid and Its Role in Encouraging Persistence


Student Aid and Its Role in Encouraging Persistence



The study of college student persistence has become increasingly important during the past decade. Although the current postsecondary educational context provides ample reasons to be concerned about this topic, the most compelling reason is rooted in social equity. When institutions admit students, they should also be making a simultaneous commitment to help students achieve their educational goals. This is not to suggest that students have no role or responsibility in achieving their goals but to assert that institutions share this responsibility. Access to postsecondary education is achieved not solely by admitting students, but also by enhancing their odds of earning a degree or certificate. Without degree completion, access to postsecondary education provides fodder for critics who ask whether our colleges and universities promote upward mobility or perpetuate inequities based on class and race. ...

The study of the effects of student financial aid on persistence and graduation rates is particularly important given the increasing public policy focus on student financial aid programs. There is a growing sense that our federal, state, and institutional financial aid programs have become so complex and have been enacted to achieve such different goals that they no longer serve students, public policy goals, or institutions very effectively (Archibald, 2002; Kane, 1999; Mercer, 2006). Recently, Secretary of Education, Margaret Spellings, observed, “[t]he reality is – no matter the costs, the wealthy can pay. But for low-income, mostly minority students, college is becoming virtually unattainable. Chuck Vest, former MIT President, put it this way: ‘In this country, you are better off being rich and dumb than poor and smart’ ” (U.S. Department of Education, 2006, ¶36).



Publication Date


Publication Source

Higher Education: Handbook of Theory and Research




Educational Administration and Supervision | Higher Education Administration

Student Aid and Its Role in Encouraging Persistence