A value beyond money? Assessing the impact of equity scholarships: from access to success

Richard J. Reed*, Brian Hurd

*Corresponding author for this work

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

    7 Citations (Scopus)

    Abstract

    This article reflects on evidence drawn from an evaluation of the impact of a scholarship programme for students from disadvantaged backgrounds at Macquarie University, Sydney. In addition to evidence of improved retention rates, the article suggests that qualitative data derived from a number of interviews with scholarship recipients highlight the substantial contribution the programme has made towards a number of positive outcomes. The key themes of the narrative evidence – including resources, belonging, security, independence, motivation, engagement and confidence – collectively describe a broad, rich notion of student success that includes enhanced academic outcomes and elements of personal growth and development. The findings add weight to emergent arguments that financial support schemes need to be seen as more than tools for incentivising enrolment, and instead as key institutional or sectoral mechanisms for encouraging and supporting the successful participation of disadvantaged students in higher education.

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)1236-1250
    Number of pages15
    JournalStudies in Higher Education
    Volume41
    Issue number7
    DOIs
    Publication statusPublished - 2 Jul 2016

    Keywords

    • scholarship
    • equity
    • financial assistance
    • widening participation
    • educational outcomes

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