In a new policy brief just released by the Scholars Strategy Network at Harvard University, I make the case that the emotional meanings of financial aid can and should be enhanced to promote student success. Sociologists and psychologists have long known that money has social value and that this can be increased through social connections. The creators of the GI Bill understood this and took advantage of it by ensuring all recipients understood where funding for that program came from and what it meant. The same must now be done for the federal Pell Grant. In fact, it could be done for all grant programs. Governors, mayors, legislators, and yes, presidents, should get involved in conveying a strong, supportive message to the millions of needy yet promising students struggling every day to make it through college.
PS. Just got the following response on Twitter.