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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: 20162025

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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