Post-Secondary Attendance By Parental Income In The U.S. And Canada: What Role For Financial Aid Policy?
This paper examines the implications of tuition and need-based financial aid policies for family income - Post-Secondary (PS) attendance relationships. The authors first conduct a parallel empirical analysis of the effects of parental income on PS attendance for recent high school cohorts in both the U.S. and Canada using data from the 1997 Cohort of the National Longitudinal Survey of Youth and Youth in Transition Survey. They estimate substantially smaller PS attendance gaps by parental income in Canada relative to the U.S., even after controlling for family background, adolescent cognitive achievement, and local residence fixed effects. They next document that U.S. public tuition and financial aid policies are actually more generous to low-income youth than are Canadian policies.