In this paper I evaluate the effect of student aid on the success of academic studies. I focus on two dimensions, the duration of study and the probability of actually graduating with a degree. While there is an extensive literature on the impact of student aid on its intended outcome, the uptake of tertiary education, the impact on the outcome and on study incentives has been mainly ignored. But introducing student aid changes the students' budget constraint. The increase in the budget-set might lead to shorter time-to-degree if paid work is substituted by study time. I analyze the effect of financial student aid granted by the German Federal Education and Training Assistance Act (BAfoeG). To determine its impact, I estimate a discrete-time duration model allowing for competing risks to account for different exit states (graduation and dropout) using individual level panel data from the German Socio-Economic Panel (SOEP) for the years 1984-2007. My findings suggest that the duration of study is responsive to the type of financial support a student receives. There are three main results. First, student aid recipients finish faster than comparable students who are supported by the same amount of parental/private transfers only. Second, although higher financial aid does on average not affect the duration of study, this effect is (third) dominated by the increased probability of actually finishing university successfully.
Academic outcomes student aid duration of study BAfoeG German Socio-Economic Panel