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Big Data, Big Obstacles Assessing the Impact of Statewide College Financial Assistance Programs. WASHINGTON STATE INSTITUTE FOR PUBLIC POLICY. Mason Burley ERDC SLDS Conference Olympia, WA May 21, 2014. ?. Mission. Strategy. Obstacles. Debrief.

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mason burley erdc slds conference olympia wa may 21 2014

Big Data, Big ObstaclesAssessing the Impact of Statewide College Financial Assistance Programs

WASHINGTON STATE INSTITUTE FOR PUBLIC POLICY

Mason Burley

ERDC SLDS Conference

Olympia, WA

May 21, 2014

?

slide2

Mission

Strategy

Obstacles

Debrief

Washington State Institute for Public Policy

Subject: State Need Grant (SNG) program

  • Started in 1969
  • Available to WA undergrads
  • Available to public/private, two/four students
  • Award amounts linked to tuition
  • Need-based (median family income)
  • Means tested (prorated award)

May 21, 2014

http://www.wsipp.wa.gov

slide3

Mission

Strategy

Obstacles

Debrief

Washington State Institute for Public Policy

Problem: Resident undergraduate tuition growth

May 21, 2014

http://www.wsipp.wa.gov

slide4

Mission

Strategy

Obstacles

Debrief

Washington State Institute for Public Policy

State Need Grant—Total expenditures (2003-2012)

May 21, 2014

http://www.wsipp.wa.gov

slide5

Mission

Strategy

Obstacles

Debrief

Washington State Institute for Public Policy

State Need Grant eligible students

May 21, 2014

http://www.wsipp.wa.gov

slide6

Mission

Strategy

Obstacles

Debrief

Washington State Institute for Public Policy

Mission: Are SNG dollars effective?

“Determine to what extent this [SNG] program has increased access and degree attainment for low-income students and to determine whether the funding for the state need grant has been utilized in the most efficient way possible to maximize the enrollment and degree attainment of low-income students”

2012 HB 2127

May 21, 2014

http://www.wsipp.wa.gov

slide7

Mission

Strategy

Obstacles

Debrief

Washington State Institute for Public Policy

Mission: Are SNG dollars effective?

  • The demographics of recipients, including, but not limited to, gender, race, and income
  • The effect on enrollment rates of low-income students at the different institutions of higher education and whether these students attend full-time or part-time
  • The effect on persistence, performance, degree completion, and time-to-degree completion
  • An inventory of the types of degrees, by field of study
  • The interplay of the State Need Grant program with other forms of financial aid

May 21, 2014

http://www.wsipp.wa.gov

slide8

Mission

Strategy

Obstacles

Debrief

Washington State Institute for Public Policy

Operatives: Washington State Institute for Public Policy

Non-partisan research at legislative/board direction

May 21, 2014

http://www.wsipp.wa.gov

slide9

Obstacles

Strategy

Results

Mission

Washington State Institute for Public Policy

Research obstacles: Different sources of aid

  • Calculated need equals cost of attendance minus expected family contribution
  • Note that not all students receive award/loan in each category
  • Private loans not included

May 21, 2014

http://www.wsipp.wa.gov

slide10

Obstacles

Strategy

Results

Mission

Washington State Institute for Public Policy

Research obstacle: Differences among students

  • Student background and profile
  • 64% – Community and technical college students
  • 44% – Independent, over age 25 (37% dependent under age 25)
  • 84% – Income under half of state median family income
  • 16% – Independent and married
  • Enrollment level
  • 58% – Enrolled full-time, full year
  • 18% – Enrolled full-time, part year
  • 33% – Summer enrollment

May 21, 2014

http://www.wsipp.wa.gov

slide11

Obstacles

Strategy

Results

Mission

Washington State Institute for Public Policy

Research obstacle: Comparison group

Unserved SNG students…

  • …may not be comparable
    • Higher family incomes
    • Late filers
    • More likely to enroll part-time
  • …don’t stay “unserved”
    • 40% receive SNG in following year
  • …have long term outcomes that are unknown
    • 2009-10 first year unserved population grew

May 21, 2014

http://www.wsipp.wa.gov

slide12

Obstacles

Strategy

Results

Mission

Washington State Institute for Public Policy

Data challenge: Timing

Potential outcomes

  • Persistence: on-going enrollment
    • Academic year completion (fall to spring)
    • Fall-to-fall continuation
  • Academic progress
    • Accumulation of credits for on-track graduation
  • Graduation
    • Degree or certificate completion within 6years (3 years for associates)
  • Electronic databases available from 2005 (fall) forward
  • Final report due January 2014

May 21, 2014

http://www.wsipp.wa.gov

slide13

Obstacles

Strategy

Results

Mission

Washington State Institute for Public Policy

Data challenge: Linking data

CTC enrollment(SBCTC)

Education Research and Data Center (ERDC)

Unit Record Report (WSAC)

Public four-year(PCHEES-COP)

Private four-year(12/15 colleges)

Linked, de-identified

Private career(6/11 schools)

WSIPP SNG research data

May 21, 2014

http://www.wsipp.wa.gov

slide14

Obstacles

Strategy

Results

Mission

Washington State Institute for Public Policy

Data challenge: Standardized data

  • Comparability of public/private college data
    • Cooperation
    • Definitions
    • Institutional aid
  • IPEDS measures
    • Institutional crossover
    • First-time enrollment
  • Academic progress
    • Credit accumulation, satisfactory academic progress

May 21, 2014

http://www.wsipp.wa.gov

slide15

Strategy

Obstacles

Results

Mission

Washington State Institute for Public Policy

Approach: Take advantage of “discontinuities” in SNG design

  • Difference in SNG amount, but similar profile/aid
  • Permits reliable inference on SNG effect

May 21, 2014

http://www.wsipp.wa.gov

slide16

Strategy

Obstacles

Results

Mission

Washington State Institute for Public Policy

Average State Need Grant and Pell by MFI

If SNG has an effect, we would expect to see it here

May 21, 2014

http://www.wsipp.wa.gov

slide17

Strategy

Obstacles

Results

Mission

Washington State Institute for Public Policy

Financial aid as a percentage of COA by MFI range and sector: 2011-12

May 21, 2014

http://www.wsipp.wa.gov

slide18

Strategy

Obstacles

Results

Mission

Washington State Institute for Public Policy

Know thy data….

  • Acronym soup
    • COA, EFC, SAP, Need, CIP….
  • Sector-specific definitions
    • Student classification
    • Outcome milestones
  • Verification and transparency

May 21, 2014

http://www.wsipp.wa.gov

slide19

Results

Mission

Strategy

Obstacles

Washington State Institute for Public Policy

Effects* of a 25% reduction SNG on outcomes

May 21, 2014

http://www.wsipp.wa.gov

slide20

Results

Mission

Strategy

Obstacles

Washington State Institute for Public Policy

Fall-to-fall enrollment

A 25% change in the SNG award is associated with….

  • 4% change in expected fall-to-fall enrollment for CTC students
    • 1,791 students (of total 47,134 enrolled) may change enrollment decision based on $600 change in SNG amount
  • 2% change in expected fall-to-fall enrollment for public baccalaureate students
    • 378 students (of total 17,171 enrolled) may change enrollment decision based on $2,000 change in SNG amount

May 21, 2014

http://www.wsipp.wa.gov

slide21

Results

Mission

Strategy

Obstacles

Washington State Institute for Public Policy

Degree completion

A 25% change in the SNG award is associated with….

  • 5% change in expected degree completions for CTC students
    • Total degrees earned may change for 436 entering students (of 10,895 first-time students) with a $600 change in SNG amount
  • 8% change in expected degree completions for public baccalaureate students
    • Total degrees earned may change for 439 entering students (of 5,289 first-time students) with a $2,000 change in SNG amount

May 21, 2014

http://www.wsipp.wa.gov

slide22

Results

Mission

Strategy

Obstacles

Washington State Institute for Public Policy

Finding 1: Effect of need-based grants on subsequent fall enrollment (elasticity)

Weighted average = 0.140

May 21, 2014

http://www.wsipp.wa.gov

slide23

Results

Mission

Strategy

Obstacles

Washington State Institute for Public Policy

Finding 2: Longitudinal (cross sector) outcomes CTC

May 21, 2014

http://www.wsipp.wa.gov

slide24

Results

Mission

Strategy

Obstacles

Washington State Institute for Public Policy

Finding 2: Longitudinal (cross sector) outcomes Baccalaureate

May 21, 2014

http://www.wsipp.wa.gov

slide25

Results

Mission

Strategy

Obstacles

Washington State Institute for Public Policy

Finding 3: Variation in “need”

Pell Grant receipt among SNG students by income level (2011-12)

May 21, 2014

http://www.wsipp.wa.gov

slide26

Results

Mission

Strategy

Obstacles

Washington State Institute for Public Policy

Alternative state awarding formulas

  • Shared responsibility model award amount=COA-(student+family+govt Pell)
  • Percentage of need declines as EFC increases

May 21, 2014

http://www.wsipp.wa.gov

slide27

Results

Mission

Strategy

Obstacles

Washington State Institute for Public Policy

Finding 3: Variation in “need”Hypothetical state examples—students served and award amounts

May 21, 2014

http://www.wsipp.wa.gov

lessons learned
Lessons Learned
  • Statewide programs do not always include statewide information
  • Within/between differences
  • An integrated database can be used to test eligibility and awarding formulas
  • Right team and structure necessary for program evaluation – THANKS to ERDC, WSAC, and institutional partners

May 21, 2014

http://www.wsipp.wa.gov

thank you
Thank you

Questions?

Mason Burley

mason.burley@wsipp.wa.gov

360-528-1645

http://www.wsipp.wa.gov