Pell Grant Recipients Nearly As Likely To Succeed, At Certain Colleges


At Binghamton University, students who do not receive Pell Grants are about seven percent more likely to graduate than those who do.

A new report from The Education Trust shows that low-income students who receive federal money for college finish school at almost the same rate as their higher-income peers – with one important caveat.

The report compares six-year graduation rates for Pell Grant recipients with rates for students who do not receive the grants. According to the numbers, the school a student chooses makes all the difference. At the average college in the U.S., low-income students are just about as likely to graduate as their higher-income peers. The gap is only six percentage points.

In the country as a whole, though, it’s a different story. The report puts the national graduation rate for Pell Grant recipients 14 points lower than for wealthier students. That big difference means more low-income students are going to colleges with poor outcomes, where fewer people of any sort graduate. The report notes that a few outlier schools also have very big graduation rate gaps.

In other words it’s the college, not the student, that often determines success.