Honors Program Theses


Honors Program Thesis (UNI Access Only)

First Advisor

Christopher Larimer


Student aid--United States--States; Student aid--Government policy--United States; Higher education and state--United States--States;


As the cost of college continues to increase, state funding for higher education is decreasing. Students now face a growing burden to finance their education. As a result, state funded student grant programs, including need and nonneed based programs, are becoming increasingly important to improving the accessibility of higher education. Using data presented by the National Association of State Student Grant and Aid Programs’ Annual Survey Reports on State-Sponsored Student Financial Aid for 2002-2003, 2006-2007, and 2011-2012, this paper seeks to understand what factors best predict the structure and outcomes of state funded grant programs. These factors include state educational attainment levels, income inequality, and a multidimensional measure of state partisanship. While I find some correlation between state funding for student grant programs and the independent variables of state income inequality and state educational attainment levels, there is no relationship found between political factors and state funding for student grant programs. I conclude less numerically observable variables within the states and within legislatures play a role in determining funding allocations for state funded student grant programs.

Year of Submission



Department of Political Science

University Honors Designation

A thesis submitted in partial fulfillment of the requirements for the designation University Honors

Date Original


Object Description

1 PDF file (43 pages)



File Format


Off-Campus Download