Financial Aid

Brief

Lessons from the CARES Act and the Higher Education Emergency Relief Fund

July, 2021
Julia Schmidt, Evan Weissman

This brief summarizes recent findings about the rollout of the federal emergency aid program for higher education during the COVID-19 pandemic. It offers recommendations and resources for policymakers and practitioners interested in developing or implementing future programs in a time of national crisis as well as in more stable times.

Brief

Scaling Up Postsecondary Student Success Strategies

June, 2021
Tiffany Morton, Camielle Headlam, Briah Spencer

Minnesota’s two-year project to improve student success and degree attainment focused on improved course placement methods, communications about satisfactory academic progress and policies, and comprehensive student support programs. A major lesson in this brief: Programs that show significant results must be implemented widely to change student outcomes meaningfully.

MDRC ’s Applying the Evidence project is a partnership with the Minnesota State Colleges and Universities system (Minnesota State) to expand the implementation of evidence-based student success strategies across the Minnesota State system, which currently includes 30 community colleges and seven universities.

In partnership with system-level leaders from...

Issue Focus

A Synthesis of Post-Program Effects in Higher Education

March, 2021

Some education programs’ early positive effects disappear over time, while other programs have unanticipated positive long-term effects. This Issue Focus introduces The Higher Education Randomized Controlled Trials, an examination of program effects after a postsecondary education program ends, using a database drawn from 31 MDRC projects, sampling 67,400 stu­dents.

Report

Three Years of the Detroit Promise Path Program for Community College Students

March, 2021
Alyssa Ratledge, Colleen Sommo, Dan Cullinan, Rebekah O'Donoghue, Marco Lepe, Jasmina Camo-Biogradlija

This program combines a tuition-free scholarship with additional forms of support, such as a campus coach and personalized communications, to keep students on track to graduate. A three-year evaluation shows that the program helped students stay enrolled in school and earn more credits, but had no impact on degrees earned.

Tiffany Morton, Rebecca Schwartz, Kriti Singh, Camielle Headlam, Julia Schmidt

MDRC ’s On the Path to a Degree project (OnPath) seeks to improve student persistence and success at community colleges through evidence-based messaging strategies. Through OnPath, MDRC will collaborate with five community colleges in New Jersey and five two-year Historically Black Colleges and Universities to design and develop student outreach campaigns that...

Working Paper

A Synthesis of Findings on the ASAP Model from Six Colleges Across Two States

February, 2021

This paper presents new estimates of the effects of the City University of New York (CUNY) Accelerated Study in Associate Programs (ASAP) model, evaluated first in New York and later in Ohio. It shows long-term effects in New York on degrees earned and consistent effects in both states.

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