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Summaries of RCT Grants

RCT of One Million Degrees, a program providing financial, academic, professional, and personal supports for low-income community college students

This project is a randomized controlled trial (RCT) of One Million Degrees (OMD), a program that provides wrap-around financial, academic, professional, and personal supports for low-income community college students in Chicago.

Grant recipient: University of Chicago

Term: 2016 –2025

Principal Investigators: Marianne Bertrand, Ph. D., University of Chicago
Kelly Hallberg, Ph. D., University of Chicago

Funding: $146,842

Summary: This project is a randomized controlled trial (RCT) of One Million Degrees (OMD), a program that provides wrap-around financial, academic, professional, and personal supports for low-income community college students in Chicago. Prior evidence suggests this intervention could provide sizable impacts – it shares some key features with the City University of New York’s Accelerated Study in Associate Programs (ASAP), which has been found in a large, well-conducted RCT to nearly double the graduation rate (from 22% for control group students to 40% for ASAP students, over a 3-year period).

OMD’s ongoing expansion in Chicago provides an opportunity to embed a randomized evaluation. The study sample will consist of approximately 1,071 students from all seven Chicago City Colleges and a nearby suburban community college (Harper College), and will use administrative data sources to measure college enrollment, persistence, and degree attainment, as well as workforce outcomes, over an 8-year period.

This study’s pre-specified analysis plan is linked here.

Grants

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