WWC review of this study

What Were the Reach and Impact of the Oregon Promise Financial Aid Program in Its First Two Years? REL 2022-119 [QED]

Hodara, Michelle; Childress, Leah (2021). Regional Educational Laboratory Northwest. Retrieved from: https://eric.ed.gov/?id=ED615645

  • Quasi-Experimental Design
     examining 
    68,713
     Students
    , grades
    12-PS

Reviewed: June 2023

At least one finding shows moderate evidence of effectiveness
At least one statistically significant positive finding
Meets WWC standards with reservations
College Enrollment outcomes—Statistically significant positive effect found for the domain
Outcome
measure
Comparison Period Sample Intervention
mean
Comparison
mean
Significant? Improvement
    index
Evidence
tier

College enrollment within 6 months, dependent on high school graduation

Oregon Promise vs. Business as usual

6 Months

Full sample - All public high school graduates in Oregon;
68,713 students

82.33

46.42

Yes

 
 
35
 
Show Supplemental Findings

College enrollment within 2 years of graduation

Oregon Promise vs. Business as usual

24 Months

Full sample - All public high school graduates in Oregon;
68,713 students

86.38

54.57

Yes

 
 
34
Progressing in College outcomes—Statistically significant positive effect found for the domain
Outcome
measure
Comparison Period Sample Intervention
mean
Comparison
mean
Significant? Improvement
    index
Evidence
tier

College persistence, 1 year

Oregon Promise vs. Business as usual

6 Months

Full sample - All public high school graduates in Oregon;
68,713 students

71.45

48.80

Yes

 
 
22
 


Evidence Tier rating based solely on this study. This intervention may achieve a higher tier when combined with the full body of evidence.

Characteristics of study sample as reported by study author.


  • 8% English language learners

  • Female: 58%
    Male: 43%

  • Rural, Suburban, Town, Urban
    • B
    • A
    • C
    • D
    • E
    • F
    • G
    • I
    • H
    • J
    • K
    • L
    • P
    • M
    • N
    • O
    • Q
    • R
    • S
    • V
    • U
    • T
    • W
    • X
    • Z
    • Y
    • a
    • h
    • i
    • b
    • d
    • e
    • f
    • c
    • g
    • j
    • k
    • l
    • m
    • n
    • o
    • p
    • q
    • r
    • s
    • t
    • u
    • x
    • w
    • y

    Oregon
  • Race
    Asian
    4%
    Black
    2%
    Native American
    2%
    Other or unknown
    24%
    Pacific Islander
    1%
    Two or more races
    4%
    White
    64%
  • Ethnicity
    Hispanic    
    24%
    Not Hispanic or Latino    
    77%
  • Eligible for Free and Reduced Price Lunch
    Free or reduced price lunch (FRPL)    
    70%
    No FRPL    
    30%

Setting

The Oregon Opportunity Grant is the state's longest-running need-based grant program for students from the lowest-income households in the state. This review focused on a sample of students who were seniors in the 2015/16 school year, applied for Oregon Promise in 2015/16, and attended schools in any public school district in Oregon (n=68,713). The study findings are supplemental to the RDD main findings reported in the same manuscript.

Study sample

The majority of the sample was female (58%), eligible for free or reduced-price lunch (70%), and White (64%). Close to one-fourth were Latinx (24%). Sixteen percent received special education services, while 8 percent were English Learners. Asian, Black, Native American, and Pacific Islander students were a small sample percentage at four, two, two, and one percent, respectively.

Intervention Group

In the 2015/2016 school year, Oregon Public high school seniors could apply for an Oregon Promise Scholarship. The application process required 1) submitting a Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) or Oregon Student Aid Application (ORSAA), and 2) listing on either application at least one community college they planned to attend. Applicants meeting the following eligibility requirements were offered an Oregon Promise award: 1) achieved an unweighted cumulative high school GPA of 2.5 or higher (GED recipients had to achieve a test score of 145 or higher), 2) lived in Oregon for at least 12 months before community college enrollment, and 3) had a valid FAFSA or ORSAA. Eligible applicants offered an award were required to use it to attend an Oregon community college within 6 months of high school completion. Students who re-enrolled in college for a second year were eligible for additional funding.

Comparison Group

The 2015/16 high school seniors in Oregon public schools in the matched comparison group were likely eligible for the Promise scholarship if they had applied to the program. Although they did not apply, these non-applicants had demographic, academic, and socio-economic characteristics similar to the 2015/16 high school seniors that applied and were offered the program.

Support for implementation

The Office of Student Access and Completion (OSAC) at Oregon's Higher Education Coordinating Commission (HECC) administered the scholarship program when the study was conducted. Representatives from HECC, and Oregon education stakeholders from K–12 state and local education agencies, collaborated with the Regional Educational Laboratory Northwest to plan the study and provide access to its data.

 

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