Evaluation of the College Possible Program: Results from a Randomized Controlled Trial
This paper reports the results of a randomized trial of the College Possible program, which provides two years of college preparatory work for high school juniors and seniors in Minneapolis and St. Paul. The 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; we estimate that initial enrollment at four-year colleges increased by more than 15 percentage points for program participants, but find little evidence of any effect of the program on ACT performance or college enrollment overall.
This paper was supported by a Spender Foundation grant. Jim McCorkell, Traci Kirtley, and Chris Mitchell worked tirelessly at College Possible to support this project. Christine Phillips, Dave Shawver, and Bob Ziomek at ACT made it possible to include ACT scores in this analysis. Special thanks to Mike McPherson, who originally suggested the possibility of this randomized trial and also provided useful comments and advice throughout the course of the work. The views expressed herein are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of the National Bureau of Economic Research.