A new study released by researchers at the Brookings Institution and Harvard University reveals that African American participants in a private school choice program were 24 percent more likely to enroll in college as a result of receiving a scholarship.
The study followed scholarship students in New York City over 15 years. It also revealed that African American enrollment rates in selective colleges more than doubled among these students, and the overall rate of enrollment in full-time colleges went up by 31 percent. The study is one of the longest-term measurements of school outcomes among scholarship recipients and is the first to use a randomized experiment to measure the impact of these awards on college enrollment.
Data was taken from an evaluation of a New York City scholarship program that operated in the late 1990s and granted scholarships to low-income students to attend the private school of their parents’ choice. The New York School Choice Scholarships Foundation Program helped over 2,600 students, most of whom participated in this study.
The data found here aligns with the results of a 2010 study of the D.C. scholarship program by the Department of Education’s Institute for Education Sciences that found participants graduate at a rate of 91 percent—over 30 percentage points higher than students who stayed in the public schools. Studies showing higher achievement and parental satisfaction have also been done in Milwaukee, Florida, and Louisiana.
Read the full study here.