HEPC 2012 - Innovative student aid programs

States continue to experiment with ways to allocate limited financial aid dollars with the goal of improving retention and ultimately completion. West Virginia’s PROMISE Scholarship is a merit-based financial aid program, currently serving more than 9,000 students, for which eligible students must complete 30 credit hours per year to maintain eligibility for up to eight consecutive semesters. An analysis of the program by Judith Scott-Clayton found these progress requirements improved four-year graduation rates by 6.7% for PROMISE recipients, while reducing the overall cost of the program.

Massachusetts is piloting a new financial aid program beginning Fall 2012 designed to improve retention and time to degree. This program is designed to measure the effectiveness of various allocation amounts and payment schedules, eligibility requirements, and time limitations on student retention and degree/certificate completion. The results of the pilot program may lead to policy changes for the state’s current financial aid programs.

Rob Anderson, Executive Vice Chancellor for Administration
West Virginia Higher Education Policy Commission

Clantha McCurdy, Senior Deputy Commissioner, Office of Student Financial Assistance
Massachusetts Department of Higher Education

Brian T. Prescott, Director of Policy Research
Western Interstate Commission for Higher Education

Completion Incentive Grant Fund Financial Aid Pilot Program, Massachusetts (ppt)

West Virginia's PROMISE Scholarship (ppt)

Thursday, August 9, 2012
Presented by: 
Rob Anderson and Clantha McCurdy
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