How Does Last-Dollar Financial Aid Affect First-Year Student Outcomes? Evidence from the Bridging the Gap Study

Presents an in-depth, mixed-methods case study of a need-based tuition discounting program at a public four-year institution in New Jersey. Focusing on the first full academic year of the program’s implementation, this preliminary report complements analysis of enrollment and academic performance data with insights from student interviews. The study shows positive impacts on enrollment, although it is unclear whether improvements in academic performance are attributable to the program.

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Federal Reserve Bank of Philadelphia

American Institutes for Research

U.S. Department of Education

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