Abstract

Abstract:

Recent federal and state education policy has targeted community colleges as an affordable venue to increase postsecondary attainment. We examined a state program aimed at increasing community college enrollment, the Missouri A+ Schools Program, which provided eligible graduates from participating high schools the opportunity to earn a scholarship at a Missouri public two-year college. The Missouri A+ Schools Program aims to increase the democratization of education by providing greater access to attend postsecondary institutions but may simultaneously create a diversion away from four-year colleges. The staggered adoption of the Missouri A+ Schools Program across high schools allowed a quasi-experimental estimation of the effect of the program on postsecondary enrollment. The Missouri A+ Schools Program increased the overall college-going rate by 1.5 percentage points for graduates from A+ designated high schools. Furthermore, the A+ Schools Program increased two-year college-going rates by 5.3 percentage points, and decreased four-year college-going rates by 3.8 percentage points. Overall, the A+ Schools Program provided a democratizing effect by increasing overall postsecondary enrollment, while simultaneously creating a diversionary effect through increased two-year enrollment and a decline in four-year enrollment.

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Additional Information

ISSN
1538-4640
Print ISSN
0022-1546
Pages
pp. 801-830
Launched on MUSE
2016-10-26
Open Access
No
Archive Status
Archived
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