Performance-Based Scholarships: What Have We Learned?

This paper examines the benefit of performance-based scholarships on short-term academic outcomes, longer-term academic outcomes, the variation of amount and duration on academic outcomes, and which students are most benefitted by scholarships. Using a random assignment research design, 4,921 students were assigned to either a program group, eligible to earn performance-based scholarships, or a control group. The authors found most students met the academic benchmarks for one or more semesters and increased the number of credits earned during the first year. In Ohio, performance-based scholarships increased the proportion of students who earned a degree or certificate. The scholarships work for a variety of students including historically underserved students. Thus far, performance based scholarships do not appear to increase the number of students who remain in college.

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