Presentation on theme: "Massachusetts Department of Higher Education Meeting | May 7, 2013"— Presentation transcript:
1 Massachusetts Department of Higher Education Meeting | May 7, 2013 Completion Incentive Grant Fund Financial Aid Pilot Program 2013 EASFAA Conference - Boston, MA
2 MASSACHUSETTS COMPLETION INCENTIVE GRANT FUND PRESENTERSIris Godes, Assistant Vice President – Enrollment Quinsigamond Community CollegePamela McCafferty, Dean of Enrollment Management Fitchburg State UniversityJudy Keyes, Director of Financial Aid University of Massachusetts BostonClantha McCurdy, Senior Deputy Commissioner Massachusetts Department of Higher Education
3 A Public Agenda for Higher Education in Massachusetts The Vision Project: The Vision*****We will produce the best-educated citizenry and workforce in the nation.We will be a national leader in research that drives economic development.
4 Outcomes College-going rates of high school graduates The Vision ProjectOutcomesCollege-going rates of high school graduatesGraduate and student success ratesAlignment of degree production with key areas of workforce needAcademic achievements on campus-level and national assessments of learningComparable learning outcomes among different student population groups
5 Financial Aid Pilot Program The ProblemWhen students drop out of college, Massachusetts does not get a full return on its investment, and students are left in debt without a credential.
6 The QuestionCan financial aid resources be used in innovative ways to increase student certificate and degree completion rates?
7 Financial Aid Pilot Program The ProcessWorking Group on Graduation and Student Success RatesCommissioned background paper on financial aid incentive policiesRecommended that Massachusetts leverage financial aid resources to increase student successRecommended specialized working group— Financial Aid Policy Advisory Group
8 Financial Aid Pilot Program The ProcessFinancial Aid Policy Advisory GroupCharged to design the framework and guidelines for financial aid pilot program that:Will increase completion rates for degrees and certificatesWill target low-income students at our public institutionsIs based on evidence-based researchIs scalable
9 Financial Aid Pilot Program Policy Advisory GroupMembership was representative of public college campuses and external stakeholdersWork of the Policy Group was guided by national expertsDavid Longanecker, PresidentWestern Interstate Commission for Higher Education (WICHE)Brian Prescott , Director of Policy Analysis and ResearchWestern Interstate Commission for Higher Education
11 Financial Aid Pilot Program The Outcome – Research PilotCompletion Incentive Grant FundWill run from Fall 2012 to Spring 2016Targets low-income, first-time studentsOne cohort - comprised of students from 11 colleges and universities representing all segments of public higher education3,500 students randomly divided into two groups, Control and Treatment
12 Completion Incentive Grant Fund How Will It Work$3 million dollar annual projected expenditure2,000 maximum grant per year$8,000 over four-year periodStudents may earn incentive during summer if annual maximum award was not received during traditional fall & spring semesters
13 Completion Incentive Grant Fund How Will It Work?Students must:Earn 9–15 credits per semester with minimum GPA of 2.0Maintain continuous enrollment up to four yearsSign contract of understandingUtilize campus support services
14 Completion Incentive Grant Fund How Will It Work?Students will receive incentive grants in increments of $100 per credit each semester as follows:15 credits in a semester = $100012 credits in a semester = $7004-year students must complete a minimum of 12 credits to receive the incentive9 credits in a semester = $400
15 Completion Incentive Grant Fund How Will It Work?Institutions must:Agree to program guidelinesProvide students with array of academic support servicesReport institutional data as requiredProgram will be evaluated:Quantitative and Qualitative
16 Completion Incentive Grant Fund Program EvaluationEvaluation will begin with the initial year of the pilot:Quantitative EvaluationInternalExternal EvaluatorQualitative Analysis
17 Completion Incentive Grant Fund EvaluationThe analysis/evaluation of the pilot will focus on the following questions:What effect does the CIGF pilot have on the rates at which students accumulate college level credit, the rate at which they persist, transfer, and complete degrees and certificates?How do these rates differ for students by race/ethnicity, sex, age, first generation status, income , level of academic preparation, among other characteristics?To what extent does participating in the pilot affect student financial aid packages and their choices about how to finance their education (especially the balance between grants, work and loans)?
18 Massachusetts Completion Incentive Grant Fund College Participants
19 Massachusetts Completion Incentive Grant Fund EASFAA 2013Massachusetts Completion Incentive Grant FundIris GodesAssistant Vice PresidentEnrollment Management
20 CIGF – Quinsigamond Community College ImplementationSample selected in late AugustStudents required to sign an AgreementWanted students to learn about the program in person through information sessionsSent letter and to Treatment GroupOffered multiple sessions - morning, afternoon and eveningDid not get a great response
21 CIGF – Quinsigamond Community College Implementation Con’tExtended deadline and offered more sessionsMore s, another letter, phone calls, facultyIf parents knew, it helped, but we have many non-traditional studentsBy end of October, started allowing students to come to the Financial Aid Office to sign the agreement in person
22 CIGF – Quinsigamond Community College Can’t Give Money AwayStudents thought it was a scamStudents thought they would have to pay it back like a loanStudents bills were covered so they didn’t feel they needed the fundsStudents don’t read what we send them
23 CIGF – Quinsigamond Community College QCC Data347 invited to participate255 signed agreements (73.5%)30 never signed agreement (8.6%)62 became ineligible or chose not to participate (17.9%)
24 CIGF – Quinsigamond Community College How Did They Do?158 received fall awards (62%)Total of $100,200Minimum award $400 (9 credits completed)Maximum award $1,000 (15 credits completed)
25 CIGF – Quinsigamond Community College Control Group326 students13 became ineligible59% completed at least 9 credits
26 CIGF – Quinsigamond Community College Where Are They Now?How many CIGF enrolled at least 9 credits?How many enrolled for more credits than earned in fall?How does this compare to control group?How does this compare to college fall-spring retention rate?
27 Massachusetts Completion Incentive Grant Fund EASFAA 2013Massachusetts Completion Incentive Grant FundPamela McCafferty, Dean Enrollment Management Fitchburg State University
28 CIGF – Fitchburg State University CIGF Population Fall 2012Control Group: 98Treatment Group: 1304 did not enroll1 refused to sign125 signed participation agreement (96%)4 later deemed ineligible3 EFC1 Residency121 potentially eligible for payment
29 CIGF – Fitchburg State University Award Recipients Fall 2012121 potential recipients106 qualified for payment (88%)$96,100 awardedAverage and median GPA: 2.95Average credits earned: 14Median credits earned: 15Average award: $907Median award: $1,000
30 CIGF – Fitchburg State University Non Qualifiers Fall 2012121 potential recipients15 did not qualify for payment (12%)3: GPA < 2.04: Earned Credits < 127: Earned Credits < 12 and GPA < 2.01: Withdrew from the University
31 CIGF – Fitchburg State University Control Group91 “potential recipients”71 “qualified for payment” (78%)Average GPA 3.16Median GPA: 3.24Average credits earned: 14Median credits earned: 15Average award: $921Median award: $1,000
32 CIGF – Fitchburg State University Implementation TimelineSampling file submitted to DHE early AugustTreatment & control groups identified mid-AugustFSU mailed out letters to treatment group late August
33 CIGF – Fitchburg State University Participation Agreement Process125 agreements signedLetters with contract mailed prior to start of termMandatory group meeting second week of term79 students attended (63%)Follow-up then done one-on-one18 within 1 week (77%)16 within the next week (90%)All signed by mid November
34 CIGF – Fitchburg State University Payment ProcessCoordinated effort with Student AccountsExpedited effort at end of termAward “options”Outstanding fall bill (rare)Reduction of loanRefund
35 CIGF – Fitchburg State University Reporting to DHEInitial Sampling File AugustOnline Award Certification (Dec/Jan)End of Term data file (January)
36 CIGF – Fitchburg State University ChallengesQuick implementation timelineNew Program (“kinks” to work out)
37 CIGF – Fitchburg State University Benefits106 needy students received additional grant fundsMany students reduced loansGreater awareness of course load and time to complete
38 Massachusetts Completion Incentive Grant Fund EASFAA 2013Massachusetts Completion Incentive Grant FundJudy Keyes, Director of Financial Aid University of Massachusetts Boston
39 CIGF Population 447 Eligible Students 203 Control Group CIGF – UMASS BostonCIGF Population447 Eligible Students203 Control Group244 Treatment Group
40 Participation Agreements CIGF – UMASS BostonParticipation Agreements216 Signed Participation Forms4 signed and later deemed ineligible24 did not respond/declined
41 170 qualified to receive funds $147,400 awarded Average GPA 3.174 CIGF – UMASS BostonTreatment Group Fall 2012 Qualified Applicant Statistics170 qualified to receive funds$147,400 awardedAverage GPA 3.174Average credits achieved 13.0Average award $852Median award $850
42 Treatment Group Fall Ineligible Reasons CIGF – UMASS BostonTreatment Group Fall Ineligible Reasons3 Enrolled part-time8 GPA below 2.018 Earned less than 12 credits16 Earned less than 12 credits and GPA below 2.03 Withdrew from the University1 Insufficient need/Cost of Attendance
43 Control Group Statistics CIGF – UMASS BostonControl Group StatisticsAverage GPA 2.861Average credit achieved 13.131 Part-time enrollment9 GPA below 2.016 earned less than 12 credits17 Less than 12 credits earned and GPA below 2.0
44 CIGF Implementation Challenges CIGF – UMASS BostonCIGF Implementation ChallengesTiming of implementationSystem preparationSoliciting student participationStudent support needed to answer questionsCoordination of aidDisbursing funds
45 Soliciting Student Participation CIGF – UMASS BostonSoliciting Student Participation1st Notification to students sent via on 8/31; due date 9/24Mid-September Academic Support Services makes follow up phone calls to students who have not signed agreementLate September “Final Notice” letter sent via mail and ; due date October 5thEarly October Financial Aid reaches out to student specific support liaisons such as CLA First, BPS, CSM Success Center
46 Coordination of Aid Most students were fully packaged CIGF – UMASS BostonCoordination of AidMost students were fully packagedCommuter school; funds are needed early on to pay rent, parking, transportationFull scholarship students were not excluded from initial selection fileReducing loans on a semester basis is challenging
47 Coordinating Disbursement CIGF – UMASS BostonCoordinating DisbursementSpring charges are on the student accounts before fall CIGF grant is credited; therefore no apparent credit balanceWorked with Bursar’s Office to identify students and manually force excess funds
48 Program Benefits 170 needy students received additional grant funds CIGF – UMASS BostonProgram Benefits170 needy students received additional grant fundsMany students declined student loans in lieu of CIGFStudents are more engaged with the Financial Aid OfficeSupports the University’s retention efforts “Start on Track, Stay on Track”More students seeking advice regarding course enrollment, transferring, etc.
49 QUESTIONSMASSACHUSETTS COMPLETION INCENTIVE GRANT FUND (CIGF)