The Impact of the New Haven Promise Program on College Enrollment, Choice, and Persistence

by Lindsay Daugherty, Gabriella C. Gonzalez

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Founded in 2010, the New Haven Promise program provides up to $10,000 annually in scholarships for students who attend New Haven Public Schools and live within New Haven City to help defray the costs of tuition in Connecticut public two year and four year colleges. We estimate the impact of being eligible for the program for the first three high school graduate cohorts using regression discontinuity and difference-in-differences approaches. Our results are mixed. Regression discontinuity estimates indicate a positive impact of the New Haven Promise on public college enrollment and several other outcomes, though estimates vary according to specifications, and difference-in-difference estimates indicate null effects. The analysis was limited by data availability around eligibility and the gradual phase-in of the program that resulted in differing benefits and eligibility requirements for the early cohorts of beneficiaries.

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