Aug 31, 2020
States around the U.S. are increasingly shifting higher education funding away from supporting public institutions and toward providing individual students with need-based financial aid to offset tuition and living expenses. This strategy could diversify and increase the number of students obtaining college degrees, but inherently presents challenges in choosing which income levels are eligible to receive aid, identifying the eligible population at those income levels, and delivering aid at a time and in an amount that will meaningfully support college attainment.
This report describes the policy design, implementation, and outcomes of the Wisconsin Grant. In partnership with the state of Wisconsin, RAND Corporation researchers created and analyzed a new database connecting state grant aid applications to the educational attainment of applicants. The author explores the pathways of aid recipients and the effects of recent funding shortages.
Challenges for State Need-Based Aid Programs
Student Pathways in Wisconsin
Design of the Wisconsin Grant
Implementation of the Wisconsin Grant
Building Evidence for Wisconsin Grant Policy
Ways Forward and Report Implications