Financial Incentives

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.

Growing up in high-poverty, highly segregated neighborhoods can limit the future prospects of young children. But low-income families with children often lack sufficient resources and face other systemic barriers to choosing freely what neighborhoods they live in. The federal government’s Housing Choice Voucher Program, which subsidizes rent for some low-income...

Report
January, 2021

Creating Moves to Opportunity greatly increased the number of families with young children leasing in areas with high upward income mobility in the Seattle area. It offered education, coaching, housing search assistance, landlord engagement, and financial supports to Housing Choice Voucher program applicants. This report offers lessons about implementing the model.

Issue Focus
December, 2020
Jorji Knickrehm, Kyla Wasserman

When Washington state’s Division of Child Support closed its offices in March 2020 in response to COVID-19, its employment program—Families Forward Washington—kept running with minimal interruption, because the original design was based on working remotely. Its model may offer useful pointers for other service agencies for adapting to the pandemic.

Report

Final Lessons from the EASE Project

October, 2020

This report presents findings from Encouraging Additional Summer Enrollment, which used behavioral insights in two informational campaigns, with and without tuition assistance, to encourage community college students to take summer classes. Both interventions increased enrollment and had a modest impact on credits earned and positive return on investment for colleges.

Report

18-Month Impacts of the Grameen America Program

September, 2020

Grameen America is a microfinance institution that provides business loans to women in poverty in the United States. Results from a randomized controlled trial show the program increased business ownership and earnings, credit worthiness, and savings, and reduced material hardship among participants, but it did not increase overall net income.

Issue Focus

How Place-Based Employment Programs like Jobs Plus Can Help During the COVID-19 Pandemic

July, 2020

Employment programs situated within public housing developments are facing multiple challenges due to the COVID-19 pandemic. With routine operations disrupted by shelter-in-place orders, programs like Jobs Plus can find creative ways to keep their doors open and their clients engaged.

Issue Focus

Practical Advice from Richard Guare and Colin Guare

June, 2020

This Issue Focus offers guidance to social service programs seeking to help participants progress toward their goals during the COVID-19 pandemic. Techniques are described for alleviating social isolation, communicating remotely, setting and achieving goals, getting medication, assessing workplace safety, applying for public benefits, working from home, and managing grief.

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