Does generosity beget generosity? Alumni giving and undergraduate financial aid

Jonathan Meer, Harvey S. Rosen

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

18 Scopus citations


We investigate how undergraduates' financial aid packages affect their subsequent donative behavior as alumni. We analyze micro data on alumni giving at an anonymous research university, and focus on three types of financial aid, scholarships, loans, and campus jobs. Consistent with the view of some professional fundraisers, we allow the receipt of a given form of aid per se to affect alumni giving. Our main findings are: (1) Individuals who take out student loans are less likely to make a gift, ceteris paribus. Further, individuals who take out large loans make smaller contributions as alumni, conditional on making a gift. (2) Scholarship aid reduces the size of a gift, conditional on making a gift, but has little effect on the probability of making a donation. (3) Aid in the form of campus jobs does not have a strong effect on donative behavior.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)890-907
Number of pages18
JournalEconomics of Education Review
Issue number6
StatePublished - Dec 2012

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Education
  • Economics and Econometrics


  • Costs
  • Educational finance
  • Grants
  • Student financial aid


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