Short Title

Does Federal Financial Aid Policy Influence the Institutional Aid Policies of Colleges and Universities?


There is a dearth of empirical work that examines the relationships between federal financial aid policy and institutional financial aid priorities and expenditures. This study uses Resource Dependency Theory to explore whether changes the amount of financial aid awarded by colleges and universities during the last fifty years are best explained by changes in federal financial aid policy or by demographic and economic shifts. The results suggest that shifts in federal financial aid policy and in the economy have influenced the amount of institutional financial aid, but indicate that more research is needed on this important topic.