Tuesday, February 18, 2014

Conditional Promise of College Scholarship Improves GPAs of High School African American students

As federal, state, and local governments look to increase college enrollment and graduation among minorities and low-income students, the midsized urban school district of Kalamazoo, Michigan, has found a hopeful model.

Funded by anonymous donors, the scholarship is awarded to graduates based on the number of years they attended Kalamazoo Public Schools, with students enrolled by 9th grade receiving at least 65 percent support. The scholarship supports students for four years on the condition the students maintain a 2.0 college GPA.

In this new study in Education Next, economists Timothy J. Bartik and Marta Lachowska look at demographic characteristics, credits completed, high school GPAs, and disciplinary incidents, and find evidence that the Promise Scholarship has reduced behavior problems for all students, and has had a dramatic positive effect on the GPAs of African American students.

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