University of Michigan Gateway Ford School

An Evaluation of the Kalamazoo Promise

Stephen DesJardins, School of Education, University of Michigan
Rodney Andrews, Department of Economics, University of Michigan
Vimal Ranchhod, Department of Economics, University of Michigan

A CLOSUP Policy Research Grant Award (FY 2007).

Abstract:
On November 10, 2005 the Kalamazoo Promise was announced. The Kalamazoo Promise will pay at least sixty-five percent of the tuition to any public college or university located in Michigan for any high school graduate of the Kalamazoo Public School District who meets certain eligibility criteria. Using data from the ACT, the authors will examine the impact of the Kalamazoo Promise on serveral outcomes: 1) the impact of the Kalamazoo Promise on the college choice set of Kalamazoo Public School District Graduates; 2) the impact of the Kalamazoo Promise on the set of students who choose to attend community college in Kalamazoo. The Kalamazoo Promise is a bold attempt to bring about urban renewal by both enhancing the human capital acquisition of Kalamazoo Public School graduates and attracting families who are interested in pursuing greater opportunities for their children. Understanding how the program directly affects high school graduates is vital as there are other locales - for example, Pittsburgh and Denver - that are considering programs that are analogous to the Kalamazoo Promise.

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