"How Does Last-Dollar Financial Aid Affect First-Year Student Outcomes? Evidence from the Bridging the Gap Study"


September 14, 2018    
12:15 pm-1:30 pm


Armitage Hall
311 N. Fifth Street, Camden, NJ, 08102

Event Type

In the fall of 2015, Rutgers–Camden announced plans to implement a last-dollar financial aid program called Bridging the Gap that would eliminate or substantially reduce the cost of tuition and certain fees for in-state students from lower- and middle-income families. The Federal Reserve Bank of Philadelphia is engaged in a multiyear, mixed-methods evaluation of Bridging the Gap to assess its impacts on student success and financial well-being. Early results suggest positive impacts on enrollment among lower-income students, although it is unclear whether observed improvements in academic performance are attributable to the program. Interviews with participants suggest the program improved affordability and reduced financial stress but illuminate challenges with the financial aid process and maintaining eligibility.

About the speakers:

Eileen DivringiEileen Divringi is a Community Development Research Associate at the Federal Reserve Bank of Philadelphia. Her research interests include housing policy, neighborhood change, and access to credit.



Kyle DeMariaKyle DeMaria is a Community Development Research Analyst at the Federal Reserve Bank of Philadelphia. He conducts research on mortgage lending, the Community Reinvestment Act, and barriers to economic mobility.