Research shows how well-designed state grant aid can increase AZ higher education rates
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Research shows how well-designed state grant aid can increase AZ higher education rates

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  • College Success Arizona


College Success Arizona released a new policy brief today, Investing in College Access, Supporting Completion: How Need-Based State Grant Aid Can Help Increase Higher Education Attainment Rates in Arizona, that explains the characteristics of well-designed state grant aid programs.

The brief provides insight to state leaders, legislators, and policymakers on the important role that state-sponsored, need-based grant aid programs play in Arizona’s efforts to increase its statewide postsecondary attainment rate and grow its economy.

Research shows how well-designed state grant aid can increase AZ higher education rates StateGrantAidPolicyBrief3Cover

College Success Arizona policy brief report cover. Photo courtesy College Success Arizona

“Postsecondary attainment is essential to the success of Arizona’s students, particularly those from low-income and minority backgrounds,” said Rich Nickel, CEO of College Success Arizona. “Ensuring that low-income students have access to robust need-based state grant aid programs will help so many more of our state’s students to enroll in college and complete their course of study.”

Targeting low-income students with need-based aid can lower the cost of college, thereby increasing affordability and the likelihood these students will enroll in a postsecondary degree program. The brief concludes with recommendations for policymakers regarding how Arizona can best design and implement effective state-sponsored need-based grant aid programs.

“Our ability to increase postsecondary attainment rates in Arizona will undoubtedly shape the future success of our state,” Paul Luna, President and CEO of the Helios  Education Foundation. “Research from College Success Arizona has consistently found that increasing higher education access and success not only offers economic and social benefits for individuals and their families, but also for the state as a whole.”

“When young people in Arizona are able to access and complete postsecondary education programs, their opportunities for well-paying jobs and supporting our state’s economy increase substantially,” said Vince Roig, Chairman of the Board of Directors of College Success Arizona. “Providing state grant aid to more students will help Arizona to strengthen its workforce and create sustainable economic growth.”

This brief is the third in a series of non-partisan and evidence-based policy briefs, and College Success Arizona’s fourth major publication on college attainment. It builds off of the previous policy brief, How State Grant Aid Increases College Participation and Drives Attainment, which provided an analysis of grant and financial aid as a barrier to attainment. Read College Success Arizona’s other publications here.

About College Success Arizona

College Success Arizona is a 501(c)3 not-for-profit organization, building public will for college completion and providing a unique combination of scholarships and mentoring that increase college graduation rates among low-income and first-generation students across the state. Their work is done by: providing scholarships and mentoring support services, building partnerships with college access programs and scholarship programs, raising awareness of the importance of college completion and the support of more than 200 college access and success organizations throughout the state. For more information about College Success Arizona and its partners, visit

For more information, please contact Devin Boyle at 202-445-0416 or