Poverty Lab Poverty Lab Finds Community College Program Significantly Improves Enrollment and Persistence

CHICAGO, IL - MAY 2, 2019 - Offering comprehensive supports to community college students can increase full-time enrollment in college by 13 percent and increase retention to the next term by 11 to 16 percent according to new results from a study underway by the University of Chicago Poverty Lab. The benefits for participating students are even greater; program scholars are 35 percent more likely to enroll full-time and 47 percent more likely to persist to the next term in their first year in the program.

The preliminary findings reflect the second year of an eight-year large-scale randomized controlled trial of One Million Degrees (OMD), a Chicago nonprofit that provides wraparound support to low-income community college students in the Chicago area. Long-term, the three-cohort study will include almost 5,000 students and will evaluate whether this promising model also shows impacts on degree attainment, employment, and earnings. Randomized controlled trials are widely considered the gold standard for studying impact. These results add to a small but growing body of rigorous evidence on how to successfully support persistence and completion among community college students.

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2 May 2019