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Abstract

In spite of recent progress in national studies of the impact of student financial aid, there are still many ambiguities about whether student financial aid has a measurable effect at the institutional level. This paper proposes models and suggests methodologies that institutions can use to conduct their own research on the impact of student financial aid, using existing data sources. Student financial aid administrators can, and should, play an integral role in such research because their student aid expertise can be valuable in formulating research questions and interpreting research findings. Well-designed and executed institutional research on the effect of student aid cannot only help resolve ambiguities about the impact of student aid, but can also provide useful information for institutional financial planning.

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