Abstract

ABSTRACT:

Even need-based financial aid programs typically require recipients to meet Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP) requirements. Using regression discontinuity and difference-in-difference designs, we examine the consequences of failing SAP for community college entrants in one state. We find heterogeneous academic effects in the short term, but, after six years, negative effects on academic and labor market outcomes dominate. Declines in credits attempted are two to three times as large as declines in credits earned, suggesting that SAP may increase aid efficiency. But students themselves are worse off, and the policy exacerbates inequality by pushing out low-income students faster than their higher-income peers.

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