Changes in HBCU Financial Aid and Student Enrollment After the Tightening of PLUS Credit Standards

Publisher: Journal of Student Financial Aid, vol. 48, issue 2
Jun 19, 2019
Authors
Matthew T. Johnson, Julie Bruch, and Brian Gill
The authors analyze changes in financial aid and student enrollment at historically Black colleges and universities (HBCUs) that occurred after the U.S. Department of Education increased the credit history requirements necessary to obtain Parent Loans for Undergraduate Students (PLUS). They use institution-level data to examine financial aid and enrollment changes in the first two academic years affected by the new credit standards (2012-13 and 2013-14). The results show that PLUS loans declined substantially at HBCUs in 2012-13, and the decreases were not fully replaced by other types of federal financial aid. HBCUs also experienced larger declines in enrollment than other institutions – particularly for first-year students. Though PLUS loans increased somewhat in 2013-14 after the U.S. Department of Education streamlined the appeals process for PLUS denials, enrollment at HBCUs continued to decline.