The aim of this paper is to investigate whether the Italian University grants are an effective tool to prevent student drop-out and to favor the degree attainment, both for merit and need-based financial aids. The survey units are Italian students enrolled on a degree course in Chemistry, Physics and Mathematics from 2002/03 until 2007/08 in the University of Trieste. On the one hand, the Regional Agency for the Right to Education offers some grants every year to eligible students from low-income families (rarely related to merit). On the other hand, Fonda Foundation offers some (only) merit-based grants to the best students enrolled in Chemistry, Physics and Mathematics degree courses. In order to estimate the causal effect of receiving a grant, we follow the counterfactual analysis and we match treated and control units using Genetic matching and Coarsened Exact Matching. The results suggest that the income-based financial aids have a positive impact to prevent drop-out at 2nd year, but a non significant effect on graduation time, whereas the merit-based scholarships increase the probability to achieve the degree within the set time frame.

THE ROLE OF MERIT-BASED AND NEED-BASED FINANCIAL AID: EVIDENCE FROM TRIESTE UNIVERSITY’S GRANT PROGRAMS

GRAZIOSI, GRAZIA
2014

Abstract

The aim of this paper is to investigate whether the Italian University grants are an effective tool to prevent student drop-out and to favor the degree attainment, both for merit and need-based financial aids. The survey units are Italian students enrolled on a degree course in Chemistry, Physics and Mathematics from 2002/03 until 2007/08 in the University of Trieste. On the one hand, the Regional Agency for the Right to Education offers some grants every year to eligible students from low-income families (rarely related to merit). On the other hand, Fonda Foundation offers some (only) merit-based grants to the best students enrolled in Chemistry, Physics and Mathematics degree courses. In order to estimate the causal effect of receiving a grant, we follow the counterfactual analysis and we match treated and control units using Genetic matching and Coarsened Exact Matching. The results suggest that the income-based financial aids have a positive impact to prevent drop-out at 2nd year, but a non significant effect on graduation time, whereas the merit-based scholarships increase the probability to achieve the degree within the set time frame.
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: http://hdl.handle.net/11368/2840754
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