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.


Additional Information

Print ISSN
pp. 801-830
Launched on MUSE
Open Access
Archive Status
Back To Top

This website uses cookies to ensure you get the best experience on our website. Without cookies your experience may not be seamless.