This dissertation examines the county-level impacts on college attainment and enrollment, and student-level impacts on success outcomes, from the Garrett County (Maryland) Scholarship Program, an early adopter in the promise scholarship movement since 2006. I conduct a comprehensive review of prior literature on promise programs, which have been growing across the nation as a response to rising college costs and greater workforce needs for college-educated workers. My study uses data from the U.S. Census Bureau’s decennial census, American Community Survey, and Current Population Survey, as well as administrative data from Garrett College to view early and accrued impacts of one rural community-based scholarship through the lens of a human capital theory (Becker, 1993) framework. My analysis uses a quasi-experimental counterfactual model with difference in differences, matching, and weighting methods to address relative gaps in the literature for outcomes considering promise programs in rural communities, population-level attainment, and student success. My findings using difference in differences methods showed no significant effect on college attainment for the population over the age of 25, as a result of the scholarship. While finding no significant effect on college enrollment overall, my results do show a statistically effect on two-year enrollment of 11.53 percentage points, suggesting a potential shift in enrollment. Finally, I analyzed scholarship effects on graduation and first semester and cumulative GPA for scholarship recipients and report a significant effect on all three measures of 24, 68, and 56 percentage points respectively. Overall, my findings produce mixed conclusions, but suggest that more research is needed on the longer-term effects of promise scholarships. I offer this recommendation, and others for future promise scholarship research and policy at the conclusion of this dissertation.
|Commitee:||Childs, William P., Billings, Meredith S.|
|School:||Frostburg State University|
|School Location:||United States -- Maryland|
|Source:||DAI-A 82/8(E), Dissertation Abstracts International|
|Subjects:||Higher education, Public policy, Labor economics, Education Policy|
|Keywords:||Attainment, Place-based scholarships, Promise programs, Rural policy, Student success|
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