Paying for Performance: The Education Impacts of a Community College Scholarship Program for Low-Income Adults

58 Pages Posted: 1 Dec 2009 Last revised: 1 Mar 2012

See all articles by Lisa Barrow

Lisa Barrow

Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago

Lashawn Richburg-Hayes

MDRC

Cecilia E. Rouse

Princeton University - Industrial Relations Section; National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER)

Thomas Brock

MDRC

Date Written: February 29, 2012

Abstract

We evaluate the effect of performance-based incentive programs on educational outcomes for community college students from a random assignment experiment at three campuses. Incentive payments over two semesters were tied to meeting two conditions—enrolling at least half time and maintaining a “C” or better grade point average. Eligibility increased the likelihood of enrolling in the second semester after random assignment and total number of credits earned. Over two years, program group students completed nearly 40 percent more credits. We find little evidence that program eligibility changed types of courses taken but some evidence of increased academic performance and effort.

Keywords: academic achievement, educational attainment, performance-based scholarship, community college

JEL Classification: I21, I28, J18

Suggested Citation

Barrow, Lisa and Richburg-Hayes, Lashawn and Rouse, Cecilia E. and Brock, Thomas, Paying for Performance: The Education Impacts of a Community College Scholarship Program for Low-Income Adults (February 29, 2012). FRB of Chicago Working Paper No. 2009-13. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1514462 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.1514462

Lisa Barrow (Contact Author)

Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago ( email )

230 South LaSalle Street
Chicago, IL 60604
United States
312-322-5073 (Phone)
312-322-2357 (Fax)

Lashawn Richburg-Hayes

MDRC ( email )

200 Vesey Street
New York, NY 10281
United States

Cecilia E. Rouse

Princeton University - Industrial Relations Section ( email )

Princeton, NJ 08544-2098
United States
609-258-4042 (Phone)
609-258-2907 (Fax)

National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER)

1050 Massachusetts Avenue
Cambridge, MA 02138
United States

Thomas Brock

MDRC ( email )

200 Vesey Street
10281
United States

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