The effects of the Kalamazoo Promise on college choice
On November 10, 2005, then Superintendent of the Kalamazoo Public School System, Janice Brown announced--to the surprise of Kalamazoo's residents--the beginning of the Kalamazoo Promise. Fully funded by a set of anonymous donors, the Kalamazoo Promise is an urban revitalization program that offers up to four years of free tuition to any public college or university in the state of Michigan for graduates of the Kalamazoo Public School system who meet certain eligibility criteria. Using the subsidy as a source of exogenous variation in the price of college, we use quasi-experimental methods to evaluate the impact of the subsidy on college choice. We find that the Kalamazoo Promise increases the likelihood that students from Kalamazoo Public Schools consider public institutions in Michigan. In addition, we find that the Kalamazoo Promise especially impacts the college choice set of students from families who earn less than $50,000 in annual income.
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