February 1, 2007
John F. Kennedy School of Government, Harvard University

Each year, in an effort to increase college attendance, the federal government provides college aid worth approximately $16 billion through Pell grants and the Hope and Lifetime Learning tax credits. The idea behind this aid is straightforward: more students, especially those from low- and middle-income families, would go to college if they could afford it. But while in theory federal student aid should increase college enrollment, there is scant evidence that the current system does so.

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