Black students raised their grades significantly when they were promised college scholarships, concludes an Education Next report on the Kalamazoo Promise.
Public school graduates in Kalamazoo, Michigan are guaranteed a full scholarship to any public college or university in the state. Once in college, they must maintain a 2.0 average to keep receiving the scholarship.
The Promise reduced behavior problems for all high school students and “had a dramatic positive effect on high school GPAs” for African-Americans. By the third year of the program, African-American students raised their GPAs by 0.7 points.
It’s not clear whether scholarship promise programs are the best use of the money, writes Nora Caplan-Bricker in New Republic.
The Pittsburgh Promise — a college scholarship for a 2.5 GPA — motivates students to try harder to raise their grades, a study found.
In El Dorado, Arkansas, Promise-eligible third graders had pulled ahead of students in nearby towns by 14 points in math and 12 points in literacy four years later.