The promise of money and college knowledge
This study is part of a randomized control trial examining the results of a promise scholarship program, the Degree Project (TDP). Half of the ninth graders in one Midwestern urban school district were notified about a $12,000 promise scholarship offer if they met certain GPA and attendance requirements (2.5 GPA and 90% attendance). This analysis draws on interview data to understand students’ financial knowledge over four years (grades 9-12). The study examined how treatment students (those who were offered the scholarship) and control students (those who were not offered the scholarship) explained and understood the methods they intended to use to finance their college education. The analysis also investigated whether promise group students communicated different financial knowledge than non-promise students. Findings indicate the early promise of a scholarship had no bearing on whether students left high school feeling prepared to meet the financial demands of higher education. Despite the intervention, students had a very rudimentary understanding of how to pay for college and by senior year, college affordability was described as a significant barrier to postsecondary aspirations for most students. Findings raise concerns for the untimely and complicated financial aid process in the U.S. and emphasize the need to address the barriers to college that go beyond price.
"Is the Early Promise of Money Enough? Examining High School Students’ College Knowledge and Choice in a Promise Scholarship Program,"
Journal of Student Financial Aid: Vol. 51
, Article 4.
Available at: https://ir.library.louisville.edu/jsfa/vol51/iss2/4