IDEAS home Printed from
MyIDEAS: Login to save this article or follow this journal

Is the Juice Worth the Squeeze? A Benefit/Cost Analysis of the District of Columbia Opportunity Scholarship Program

  • Patrick J. Wolf


    (Department of Education Reform, University of Arkansas)

  • Michael McShane


    (Research Fellow in Education Policy, American Enterprise Institute, Washington, DC)

Registered author(s):

    School voucher programs have become a prominent aspect of the education policy landscape in the United States. The DC Opportunity Scholarship Program is the only federally funded voucher program in the United States. Since 2004 it has offered publicly funded private school vouchers to nearly four thousand students to attend any of seventy-three different private schools in Washington, DC. An official experimental evaluation of the program, sponsored by the federal government's Institute of Education Sciences, found that the students who were awarded Opportunity Scholarships graduated from high school at a rate 12 percentage points higher than the students in the randomized control group. This article estimates the benefit/cost ratio of the DC Opportunity Scholarship Program, primarily by considering the increased graduation rate that it induced and the estimated positive economic returns to increased educational attainment. We find a benefit to cost ratio of 2.62, or $2.62 in benefits for every dollar spent on the program. © 2013 Association for Education Finance and Policy

    If you experience problems downloading a file, check if you have the proper application to view it first. In case of further problems read the IDEAS help page. Note that these files are not on the IDEAS site. Please be patient as the files may be large.

    File URL:
    Download Restriction: Access to PDF is restricted to subscribers.

    As the access to this document is restricted, you may want to look for a different version under "Related research" (further below) or search for a different version of it.

    Article provided by MIT Press in its journal Education Finance and Policy.

    Volume (Year): 8 (2013)
    Issue (Month): 1 (January)
    Pages: 74-99

    in new window

    Handle: RePEc:tpr:edfpol:v:8:y:2013:i:1:p:74-99
    Contact details of provider: Web page:

    Order Information: Web:

    No references listed on IDEAS
    You can help add them by filling out this form.

    This item is not listed on Wikipedia, on a reading list or among the top items on IDEAS.

    When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:tpr:edfpol:v:8:y:2013:i:1:p:74-99. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Anna Pollock-Nelson)

    If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

    If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.

    If the full references list an item that is present in RePEc, but the system did not link to it, you can help with this form.

    If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

    Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

    This information is provided to you by IDEAS at the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis using RePEc data.