'No Excuses' Charter Schools and College Enrollment: New Evidence from a High School Network in Chicago

31 Pages Posted: 15 May 2015 Last revised: 9 Mar 2016

Matthew Davis

University of Pennsylvania - The Wharton School

Blake Heller

Harvard University

Date Written: September 1, 2015

Abstract

While it is well-known that certain charter schools dramatically increase students' standardized test scores, there is considerably less evidence that these human capital gains persist into adulthood. To address this matter, we match three years of lottery data from a high-performing charter high school to administrative college enrollment records and estimate the effect of winning an admissions lottery on college matriculation, quality, and persistence. Seven to nine years after the lottery, we find that lottery winners are 10.0 percentage points more likely to attend college and 9.5 percentage points more likely to enroll for at least four semesters. These impacts do not come at the expense of college quality; our estimates are entirely driven by enrollment at selective, four-year institutions. Finally, we provide non-experimental evidence that more recent cohorts at other campuses increased enrollment at a similar rate. Overall, our results suggest that the causal effects of attending a "No Excuses" high school extend beyond graduation and into early adulthood.

Suggested Citation

Davis, Matthew and Heller, Blake, 'No Excuses' Charter Schools and College Enrollment: New Evidence from a High School Network in Chicago (September 1, 2015). Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2606059 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.2606059

Matthew Davis (Contact Author)

University of Pennsylvania - The Wharton School ( email )

3641 Locust Walk
Philadelphia, PA 19104-6365
United States

Blake Heller

Harvard University ( email )

1875 Cambridge Street
Cambridge, MA 02138
United States

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