No College Student Left Behind: The Influence of Financial Aspects of a State's Higher Education Policy on College Completion

Using national data from various sources, this study investigates the influence of financial aspects of state higher education policy on college completion. It found that college completion is positively associated with total state grants as a percentage of appropriations of state tax funds for operating expenses of higher education and state need-based grant dollars per individual in the traditional college-age (18–24) population. The study's results have implications for policies which attempt to link institutional eligibility for federal financial aid programs to graduation rates and for state higher education finance strategies that would improve the chance for college completion.