An Impact Evaluation Of Government Of Pakistan Scholarships On Students’ Academic Performance

Theme/Relevant Ministry:

M/o Federal Education & Professional Training; Higher Education Commission; Ehsaas Program; Balochistan Education Department

Project Brief:

This study tries to investigate the short to medium term impact of government sponsored scholarships on undergrad students’ academic performance and other success outcomes. This study utilizes a difference-in-differences (DID) approach to estimate the impact of scholarships on students’ academic and success outcomes. Using University of Turbat as a case study, we compare academic performance outcomes ― Percentage marks, GPA,  or CGPA ― of students. Our results show that, the HEC Ehsaas scholarship program―which is designed to support financially the needy students’ ― seemingly increased the academic performance of male students only with a percentage point of 4.10 in their semesters’ marks. This improvement is significant economically because an additional of 4.10 percent marks could secure a student from dropping out at the university’s enrolment or change the grade of a student from B to B+. In order to tracing out channels through which this impact could possibly happen, this study tests a number of hypotheses to validate the findings. These findings indicate that male students when obtained scholarships are less likely to depend on their parental income for the university related expenses than female students. Also, they are more likely to focus in their study by taking class notes seriously in the class compared to their counterpart male students who did not hold scholarships.  The positive impact of scholarship on students’ others success outcomes (e.g. students’ retention, engagement and satisfaction, acquisition of skills and competences, and career success) particularly for male is also validated in a number of t-tests by using our survey data. Surprisingly, this did not find any evidence on the impact of merit based scholarships on students’ academic performances.

Public Policy Relevance:

Evidence derived from this study helps policymakers and scholarship monitoring bodies to understand the success and failure for implementation of the programs. It also provides the guidance and direction for initiating similar scholarships or for rolling-out these and other such scholarships throughout the country.


Final Research Report, Policy Brief and Journal article can be downloaded from the link:


CGP 01-058
Riaz Ahmed
Assistant Professor, University of Turbat (PI)
12 months
Rs. 2,500,000/-