Can Scholarships Alone Help Students Succeed?

December 12, 2012

Can a scholarship without services improve academic progress? For adult developmental education students, this program encouraged more full-time enrollment during the semesters in which it operated and increased registration and credit accumulation in the summer semester, but it did not increase the average number of semesters registered or credits earned over two years.

This report presents findings from a study of performance-based scholarships at two community colleges in New York City — the Borough of Manhattan Community College and Hostos Community College, both part of the City University of New York system.

The program in New York City is one of six being studied as part of the Performance-Based Scholarship (PBS) Demonstration. Each program is designed to serve a different target population and to test an alternative incentive structure, and all employ a random assignment research design. The program in New York City is a test of a scholarship-only program, with no services attached to the award. It targets adult students who are in need of developmental education, and aims to learn whether these scholarships are an effective way to help students progress academically.

Click below to read more about this and access the report.


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