How does working while enrolled affect the academic and labor-market outcomes of low-income college students?

How can the FWS Program be better used to improve academic and labor market outcomes for low-income college students?

Adela Soliz will explore the extent to which the Federal Work-Study Program can be leveraged to improve college persistence, completion, and labor market access for low-income college students. Soliz will conduct interviews with financial aid administrators at public universities in order to understand contextual factors that affect the administration of the FWS Program, conduct a randomized controlled trial to evaluate the causal effect of receiving a work-study offer on students’ academic and labor-market outcomes, and develop a survey instrument to explore how students make decisions about working during the school year. Soliz’s research to date has used quantitative analyses of secondary data sources to examine how policies and programs impact college access and success, particularly for economically disadvantaged students. This study will develop her expertise in the design and implementation of a mixed-methods field experiment. Rebecca Maynard, University Trustee Professor of Education and Social Policy at the University of Pennsylvania Graduate School of Education , will mentor Soliz on the design and implementation of a field experiment, and Judith Scott-Clayton, associate professor of Economics and Education at Teachers College, Columbia University will mentor her on the Federal Work-Study Program and financial aid policy more broadly.

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