Cover: What Happens When You Combine High School and College?

What Happens When You Combine High School and College?

The Impact of the Early College Model on Postsecondary Performance and Completion

Published in: Education Evaluation and Policy Analysis, Volume 42, Issue 2, pages 257–278 (June 2020). doi: 10.3102/0162373720912249

Posted on Nov 25, 2020

by Julie Edmunds, Fatih Unlu, Jane Furey, Elizabeth J. Glennie, Nina Arshavsky

Early colleges are a new model of schooling in which the high school and college experiences are merged, shortening the total amount of time a student spends in school. This study uses a lottery-based experimental design to examine the impact of the model on longer term outcomes, including attainment of a postsecondary credential and academic performance in 4-year institutions. Results show that a significantly higher proportion of early college students were attaining postsecondary credentials. The results also show that early college students were completing their degrees more rapidly but that their performance in 4-year institutions was still comparable with the control students.

Research conducted by

This report is part of the RAND external publication series. Many RAND studies are published in peer-reviewed scholarly journals, as chapters in commercial books, or as documents published by other organizations.

RAND is a nonprofit institution that helps improve policy and decisionmaking through research and analysis. RAND's publications do not necessarily reflect the opinions of its research clients and sponsors.