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Promise Program, community development, K-12 achievement, postsecondary attainment, systematic review


This review examines the existing evidence on the impacts of Promise Programs on community development, K-12 academic achievement, and student postsecondary outcomes. Promise Programs are place-based, guaranteed college scholarships offered to all students who graduate from a certain school or district while meeting the minimum thresholds of the program. We delineate Promise Programs by their design - whether the scholarships are available to all students, are awarded based on merit, or are awarded based on need. We also note the applicability of Promise Programs - whether the funds be used at a wide range of postsecondary institutions, or if they are narrowly targeted towards certain institutions. We find suggestive evidence that Promise Programs are successful at improving housing prices, attracting residents to Promise zones, improving student K-12 academic outcomes, and increasing postsecondary enrollment. However, the number of studies examining Promise Programs remains limited, and skewed towards particular programs.

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EDRE Working Paper

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