The Short-Term Effects of the Kalamazoo Promise Scholarship on Student Outcomes

Upjohn Institute Working Paper No. 12-186

44 Pages Posted: 30 Sep 2012 Last revised: 16 Jun 2015

See all articles by Timothy Bartik

Timothy Bartik

W.E. Upjohn Institute for Employment Research

Marta Lachowska

W.E. Upjohn Institute for Employment Research; Stockholm University - Department of Economics

Date Written: August 29, 2012

Abstract

In order to study whether college scholarships can be an effective tool in raising students’ performance in secondary school, we use one aspect of the Kalamazoo Promise that resembles a quasi-experiment. The surprise announcement of the scholarship created a large change in expected college tuition costs that varied across different groups of students based on past enrollment decisions. This variation is arguably exogenous to unobserved student characteristics. We estimate the effects of this change by a set of “difference-in-differences” regressions where we compare the change in student outcomes in secondary school across time for different student “length of enrollment” groups. We find positive effects of the Kalamazoo Promise on Promise-eligible students large enough to be deemed important - about a 9 percent increase in the probability of earning any credits and one less suspension day per year. We also find large increases in GPA among African American students.

Keywords: Kalamazoo Promise, academic output, educational incentives, universal scholarship, natural experiment

JEL Classification: I21, I22

Suggested Citation

Bartik, Timothy and Lachowska, Marta, The Short-Term Effects of the Kalamazoo Promise Scholarship on Student Outcomes (August 29, 2012). Upjohn Institute Working Paper No. 12-186, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2142427 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.2142427

Timothy Bartik (Contact Author)

W.E. Upjohn Institute for Employment Research ( email )

300 South Westnedge Avenue
Kalamazoo, MI 49007-4686
United States

Marta Lachowska

W.E. Upjohn Institute for Employment Research ( email )

300 South Westnedge Avenue
Kalamazoo, MI 49007-4686
United States

HOME PAGE: http://www.upjohn.org/AboutUs/Staff/Lachowska

Stockholm University - Department of Economics ( email )

Stockholm University
Stockholm, 10691
Sweden

HOME PAGE: http://www2.sofi.su.se/~mla/

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