This study examined the effects of information about government support programs for college financial aid. H&R Block provided assistance with completing the federal application for financial aid (FAFSA) and information on eligibility for government aid and local postsecondary options to a randomly selected sample of low to moderate income families. Another randomly selected sample received only personalized aid eligibility information and no assistance with the FAFSA. The analysis revealed that those that received assistance with the FAFSA and information about aid had a higher possibility of submitting the aid application, enrolling in college the following fall, and receiving a larger amount of financial aid.
The Role of Simplification and Information in College Decisions: Results from the H&R Block FAFSA Experiment
National Bureau of Economic Research