Echo of a Promise: The Impact of State-Designated Michigan Promise Zones

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Echo of a Promise: The Impact of State-Designated Michigan Promise Zones

Chapter 8

Meredith S. Billings

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Inspired by the Kalamazoo Promise, the state of Michigan selected 10 promise zone communities. These promise zones offer college scholarships for all eligible students within the zone. The scholarships are applied after all federal and state aid is exhausted, are usually limited to local postsecondary institutions, and pay up to 100% of tuition and fees for an associate degree. Focusing on the eight promise zones that started awarding scholarships from 2010 and 2013, the author uses an instrumental variables difference-in-differences design to estimate the effect of scholarship eligibility on college enrollment, choice, and persistence. Students who were eligible for the scholarship increased their college enrollment by 4.5 percentage points and increased their community college enrollment by 2.5 percentage points. While the estimates for these outcomes are positive and seem promising, the 95% confidence intervals for the coefficients are large and include negative values, making it difficult to reach definite conclusions.

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Pages: 25
Publisher: American Educational Research Association
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