Promises Fulfilled? A Systematic Review of the Impacts of Promise Programs

57 Pages Posted: 7 Oct 2016 Last revised: 29 Oct 2017

See all articles by Elise Swanson

Elise Swanson

University of Arkansas - Department of Education Reform

Angela Watson

University of Arkansas - Department of Education Reform

Gary Ritter

Saint Louis University School of Education

Malachi Nichols

University of Arkansas - Department of Education Reform

Date Written: October 26, 2017

Abstract

This review examines the existing evidence on the impacts of Promise Programs on community development, K-12 academic achievement, and student postsecondary outcomes. Promise Programs are place-based, guaranteed college scholarships offered to all students who graduate from a certain school or district while meeting the minimum thresholds of the program. We delineate Promise Programs by their design—whether the scholarships are available to all students, are awarded based on merit, or are awarded based on need. We also note the applicability of Promise Programs—whether the funds be used at a wide range of postsecondary institutions, or if they are narrowly targeted towards certain institutions. We find suggestive evidence that Promise Programs are successful at improving housing prices, attracting residents to Promise zones, improving student K-12 academic outcomes, and increasing postsecondary enrollment. However, the number of studies examining Promise Programs remains limited, and skewed towards particular programs.

Keywords: Promise Program, scholarships, community development, K-12 achievement, postsecondary attainment, systematic review

Suggested Citation

Swanson, Elise and Watson, Angela and Ritter, Gary and Nichols, Malachi, Promises Fulfilled? A Systematic Review of the Impacts of Promise Programs (October 26, 2017). EDRE Working Paper No. 2016-16. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2849194 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.2849194

Elise Swanson (Contact Author)

University of Arkansas - Department of Education Reform ( email )

201 Graduate Education Building
Fayetteville, AR 72701
United States

Angela Watson

University of Arkansas - Department of Education Reform ( email )

201 Graduate Education Building
Fayetteville, AR 72701
United States

Gary Ritter

Saint Louis University School of Education ( email )

220 North Grand Boulevard
St. Louis, MO 63103
United States
314-977-3290 (Phone)

HOME PAGE: http://https://www.slu.edu/education/faculty/gary-ritter.php

Malachi Nichols

University of Arkansas - Department of Education Reform ( email )

201 Graduate Education Building
Fayetteville, AR 72701
United States

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