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Tensions between economic need and academic merit: Analysis of perceptions of the 6000 scholarship program in Andalusia (Spain)




scholarships, school dropout, education policies, income transfers conditional on education, qualitative evaluation, Spain


This article analyzes the beneficiary population’s perceptions of the Becas 6000 in Andalusia (Spain), a pioneering income transfer program conditional on educational results limited to post-compulsory secondary school students from very low-income families. A qualitative strategy based on 33 in-depth interviews was developed. The material was analyzed following grounded theory procedures. The analyses reveal two main directions. On the one hand, the perception of scholarships as an instrument of equity in the support of students with greater economic needs, although their limited coverage and lack of flexibility are questioned. In addition, the scholarship is seen as a resource that facilitates new investments in education and as a basic resource at the service of the household economy. On the other hand, scholarships are seen as an effective instrument to encourage effort and academic performance. In short, the 6000 scholarship is seen as a good, fair, and necessary resource, combining the principles of equity and efficiency, the internalization of which by the beneficiary population contributes to their adherence and commitment to the program.



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Author Biographies

Manuel A. Río Ruiz, Universidad de Sevilla

Profesor titular del Departamento de Sociología de la Universidad de Sevilla. En el campo de la sociología de la Educación ha publicado, además de sobre políticas de becas preuniversitarias y universitarias, sobre absentismo escolar, prácticas educativas familiares, educación infantil, procesos de etiquetaje y discriminación étnica en la escuela.

María Luisa Jiménez Rodrigo, Universidad de Granada

Profesora titular del Departamento de Sociología e investigadora del Instituto Universitario de Estudios de las Mujeres y de Género de la Universidad de Granada. Sus principales intereses de investigación se centran en el análisis de las desigualdades de género en salud, políticas sociales y educativas.



How to Cite

Río Ruiz, M. A., & Jiménez Rodrigo, M. L. (2023). Tensions between economic need and academic merit: Analysis of perceptions of the 6000 scholarship program in Andalusia (Spain). Education Policy Analysis Archives, 31.