WICHE commissioned this paper to help policy leaders and decision makers understand the impact of selected state financial aid programs on students’ choices – choices of which college to attend, where to attend college, and even whether to attend college at all. As the paper shows, states have created grant-aid programs for a variety of reasons and through a variety of funding sources. Among the most popular and growing forms of state grant-aid programs are those that blend financial need with certain academic benchmarks for students’ high school course of study (to aid academic preparation for college) and benchmarks for continued academic progress in college (to aid in persistence to degree). Through an examination of grant-aid programs in 11 states, this analysis identifies the start date for the programs and describes the qualifications for eligibility, the legislation that established the programs, and the policies and political environments involved in creating them. In addition, the authors discuss programmatic impacts on students’ choices and make several recommendations to states that are considering creating grant-aid programs.