March 31, 2022
The Panther Retention Grant (PRG) program at Georgia State University (Georgia State) is one of the nation's pioneering examples of a retention or completion grant program, a type of emergency financial aid program aimed at supporting students with immediate financial need. The program, which specifically targets students who are in good academic standing and have exhausted all other sources of aid, automatically awards up to $2,500 to clear students' unpaid balances and allow them to remain enrolled for the term. Since the program was piloted in 2011, it has awarded over 10,000 grants to Georgia State students and has undergone many changes in scope, focus, and eligibility criteria. This study is the first to attempt to estimate the causal impacts of the grant on student outcomes and institutional finances.