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College Students



Goldrick-Rab to testify before U.S. Senate committee on college affordability

Grants Can Improve Student College Success
April 1, 2013

WSLS Director Reflects on ACE President Visiting UW-Madison | February 20, 2013



New papers from the Wisconsin Scholars Longitudinal Study will be presented at these upcoming conferences:

Population Association of America Annual Meeting, April 11-13th, New Orleans

American Educational Research Association Annual Meeting, April 27-May 1st, San Francisco

Consumer Financial Decision Making Conference, May 19-21st, Boulder 

Federal Reserve Board of New York Education Seminar Series, May 23rd, New York City

Study Overview

The Wisconsin Scholars Longitudinal Study (WSLS) is the first statewide longitudinal study of the impact of private need-based financial aid on college persistence and graduation. The study will follow approximately 6,000 low-income college students receiving need-based aid (e.g. federal Pell Grants) who are enrolled in either the University of Wisconsin System or the Wisconsin Technical College System. In addition to their standard aid package, approximately half of the participants have been randomly selected to receive a private multi-year grant from the Fund for Wisconsin Scholars.

The study addresses four main policy-relevant questions: (a) what are the impacts of private grants on college persistence and graduation?; (b) how do the impacts vary according to the way in which the grant is distributed to students (reduced loans versus increased cash)?; (c) how do the impacts vary by student and college characteristics?; and (d) how and why do the impacts arise? Study findings will have direct implications for both governmental and private grant programs and provide an important basis for addressing current debates about the future of financial aid in the state and nationwide.

WSLS Funding

The Wisconsin Scholars Longitudinal Study is grateful to the following organizations for their support:

Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation

Fund for Wisconsin ScholarsGreat Lakes Higher Education

Spencer FoundationTICAS

William T. Grant Foundation

WSLS is seeking financial support.  If you are interested in furthering our work please contact the study's director, Sara Goldrick-Rab, at or (608) 265-2141.