The Effect of Federal Financial Aid on the Retention of Occupational and Nonoccupational Students at Three Community Colleges

The Effect of Federal Financial Aid on the Retention of Occupational and Nonoccupational Students at Three Community Colleges

May 2013

This presentation, made at AERA 2013 in San Francisco, explored the role of financial aid (overall, as well as Pell grants, Stafford subsidized loans, Stafford unsubsidized loans, and Other sources of financial aid, a category encompassing state, local, and institutional sources) in the retention of occupational and non-occupational students, using institutional data from three community colleges in three different states. While occupational and non-occupational students were not differentially helped by financial aid in terms of the duration of their retention, some forms of financial aid were more strongly associated with short-term retention, which means that more occupational students using those types of financial aid would complete short-term credentials, while similar non-occupational students would not reach any credential goal.

Opsal, C., Center, B., & Bremer, C. D. (2013, May). The effect of federal financial aid on the retention of occupational and nonoccupational students at three community colleges. Presentation made at the annual meeting of the American Educational Research Association, San Francisco, CA.