*Names in bold indicate Presenter
To determine the Promise scholarship’s impact on increasing college accessibility, we will evaluate college attendance rates using data from the National Student Clearinghouse. We use an interrupted time-series analysis to determine the impact of the Promise on college attendance and retention, comparing El Dorado’s enrollment and retention rates pre-Promise to post-Promise. We will use the same method to measure the impact of the Promise on high school graduation rates. We will also test the extent to which the achievement culture in the younger grades has improved based on student achievement on elementary and middle school test scores. We will compare Promise-eligible El Dorado students to students in similar nearby districts matched on pre-Promise achievement levels and demographics and test the extent to which Promise students academically grow faster than their peers.
To estimate the economic impact, we evaluate if there are changes in total enrollment and enrollment by race/ethnicity in the El Dorado School District. To assess the enrollment outcome measure, we again use an interrupted time series design to compare the enrollment trends before and after the announcement of the Promise.
Finally, we will also include a qualitative element to our evaluation by administering an “aspirations” survey to current middle and high school students in the El Dorado school system and in our comparison districts. The survey will ask students to assess their interest and expectation with regard to a college education. We expect that El Dorado students will exhibit higher levels of aspiration to attend college, since the Promise scholarship eases the financial burden of college attendance.
Preliminary analyses have found that the introduction of the El Dorado Promise scholarship has led to increases in middle school test scores, a decrease in the high school drop-out rate, and a reversal of the decade-long downward trend in enrollment.