Financial aid reduces dropout rates, yet college students are unaware of many financial resources available to them. The 2021 American Rescue Plan Act requires colleges to tell students they can apply for more aid. These evidence-based strategies can help schools create effective messages about aid to get positive responses.
Lessons from the CARES Act and the Higher Education Emergency Relief Fund
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.
Scaling Up Postsecondary Student Success Strategies
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.
In this commentary, originally published in Community College Daily, MDRC’s Alyssa Ratledge draws on years of research to make the case for the importance of adding robust support services to free tuition programs at community colleges.
Three Years of the Detroit Promise Path Program for Community College Students
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.
A Synthesis of Post-Program Effects in Higher Education
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.
A Synthesis of Findings on the ASAP Model from Six Colleges Across Two States
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.
MDRC, Ascendium Education Group, and Rural Matters partnered to present an audio series about higher education that aired on the Rural Matters podcast. This special supplement presents summaries of all four installments in that series.
A Statewide Education Collaboration That Centers on Rural Communities
A West Virginia campaign to double college degree attainment by 2030 includes five evidence-based strategies proven to help students succeed and is customized to suit the particular needs of rural communities. This paper summarizes Part II of a four-part podcast series coproduced by Rural Matters and MDRC.
College Access Strategies in Rural Communities of Color
Education strategies that consider the local context, needs, and desires of rural students of color, who have historically been shut out of equal access to a college education, are getting increasing attention. This paper summarizes Part III of a four-part podcast series coproduced by Rural Matters and MDRC.