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Paying for performance: the education impacts of a community college scholarship program for low-income adults

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Listed:
  • Lisa Barrow
  • Thomas Brock
  • Lashawn Richburg-Hayes
  • Cecilia Elena Rouse

Abstract

We evaluate educational outcomes from an experiment which randomly assigned performancebased scholarship eligibility to students on community college campuses. Scholarships were awarded in three payments each semester over the course of two semesters. Payments were tied to students meeting two conditions—enrolling at least half time and maintaining a “C” or better semester grade point average. We find that the program increased the likelihood a student was enrolled at the program institutions in both the first and second semesters after random assignment and increased the total number of credits attempted and earned each semester. One year after random assignment, program group students were more likely to persist at their program institution, and one and two years after random assignment, program group students had completed 3-4 credits more than the control group students. We find little evidence that program eligibility induced students to change the types of courses taken but some evidence that the program may have increased academic performance and effort conditional on enrollment.

Suggested Citation

  • Lisa Barrow & Thomas Brock & Lashawn Richburg-Hayes & Cecilia Elena Rouse, 2009. "Paying for performance: the education impacts of a community college scholarship program for low-income adults," Working Paper Series WP-09-13, Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago.
  • Handle: RePEc:fip:fedhwp:wp-09-13
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Cited by:

    1. Joshua Angrist & Philip Oreopoulos & Tyler Williams, 2014. "When Opportunity Knocks, Who Answers?: New Evidence on College Achievement Awards," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 49(3), pages 572-610.
    2. Susan Dynarski & Joshua Hyman & Diane Whitmore Schanzenbach, 2013. "Experimental Evidence on the Effect of Childhood Investments on Postsecondary Attainment and Degree Completion," Journal of Policy Analysis and Management, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 32(4), pages 692-717, September.
    3. Steven D. Levitt & John A. List & Sally Sadoff, 2016. "The Effect of Performance-Based Incentives on Educational Achievement: Evidence from a Randomized Experiment," NBER Working Papers 22107, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    4. Conger, Dylan & Turner, Lesley J., 2017. "The effect of price shocks on undocumented students' college attainment and completion," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 148(C), pages 92-114.
    5. Burgess, Simon, 2016. "Human Capital and Education: The State of the Art in the Economics of Education," IZA Discussion Papers 9885, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
    6. Adam M. Lavecchia & Heidi Liu & Philip Oreopoulos, 2014. "Behavioral Economics of Education: Progress and Possibilities," NBER Working Papers 20609, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    7. Lauren Schudde & Judith Scott-Clayton, 2016. "Pell Grants as Performance-Based Scholarships? An Examination of Satisfactory Academic Progress Requirements in the Nation’s Largest Need-Based Aid Program," Research in Higher Education, Springer;Association for Institutional Research, vol. 57(8), pages 943-967, December.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Education - Economic aspects ; Income;

    JEL classification:

    • I20 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Education - - - General
    • I21 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Education - - - Analysis of Education
    • I23 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Education - - - Higher Education; Research Institutions
    • J24 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demand and Supply of Labor - - - Human Capital; Skills; Occupational Choice; Labor Productivity

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