College Possible

Program/Intervention: 
College Possible
Implementing Organization: 
College Possible
Summary: 

College Possible is a nonprofit organization providing college preparation, enrollment, persistence and completion assistance to low-income students. The summaries that follow are of studies conducted of College Possible programs around the country.

OUTCOMES STUDY -- Minnesota, Nebraska, Oregon and Wisconsin

The purpose of this study was to analyze the college preparation, enrollment, persistence, and graduation rates of College Possible students and identify variables that are correlated with positive student outcomes.

Highlighted findings from the study include:

  • The immediate college enrollment rate for high school graduates from low-income families is 52%, compared to 82% for students from high-income families. College Possible students’ immediate enrollment rates ranged from 82% to 88%.
  • Bachelor’s degree attainment rates are much higher, with 44% of students in the 2007 cohort earning their degree within 5 years. Total completion rates (that is, the percent of students earning either an Associate’s degree within 3 years or a Bachelor’s degree within 5) were 41% among the 2007 cohort.
  • The majority of College Possible students enrolled in 4-year rather than 2-year colleges, and in public rather than private institutions.
  • Students who received more hours of College Possible coaching over the course of their college career were 1.59 times more likely to attain a Bachelor’s degree within 4 years than their peers who received fewer hours.

While certain student demographic characteristics (such as racial/ethnic minority status or first-generation college attendee status) can be negatively associated with college success, College Possible coaching appears to help overcome such disparities. 

 

RANDOMIZED CONTROLLED TRIAL (RCT) -- Minneapolis/St. Paul

This trial involved 238 students, including 134 who were randomly selected for admission to the program.

The results indicate that the College Possible program significantly increased both applications and enrollment to both four-year colleges and selective four-year colleges; the researchers estimate that initial enrollment at four-year colleges increased by more than 15 percentage points for program participants. However, little evidence of any effect of the program on ACT performance or college enrollment overall was seen.

CNCS Program(s): 
AmeriCorps State and National
CNCS Focus Area(s): 
Education
Age(s) Studied: 
13-17 (Adolescent)
18-25 (Young adult)
Outcomes Category(s): 
Post-Secondary Educational Support
Study Type(s): 
Impact
Outcomes
Study Design(s): 
Experimental (RCT)
Non-Experimental
Level of Evidence: 
Moderate
Evaluator: 
MN/NE/OR/WI Outcomes: ICF International; Minn/St.Paul RCT: Christopher Avery, Harvard Kennedy School of Government
Year Published: 
2013
Date Posted Online: 
June 27, 2017
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