Six Years Later: Examining the Academic and Employment Outcomes of the Original and Reinstated Summer Pell
While the Pell Grant covers a substantial proportion of college tuition for low-income students, it has covered only two full-time semesters per year and has not included any support for summer courses through most of its history. As research has shown that continuous enrollment throughout the year increases college persistence and completion, the summer Pell (SP) program was added during the summer of 2009 and allowed eligible low-income students to receive an additional grant for summer tuition and eligible costs. The SP was eliminated in 2011 and then restored in 2017. Using administrative data on community college students in New York City, the authors’ difference-in-differences analysis results from both periods show that SP-eligible students had a higher retention rate in the fall of the second year, had higher associate and bachelor’s degree attainment rates, and had higher earnings gains up to nine years from college entry compared to SP-ineligible students. Heterogeneous analysis indicates that the SP benefits were driven by Black students and older students.
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