"The new study detailing the findings from a randomized control trial showcases some of the first causal evidence from a long-term study on free college. A co-author of the study, Douglas Harris, summarized the findings in a blog post for The Brookings Institution. The study provides policymakers with evidence from a randomized trial titled The Degree Project (TDP), in which ninth graders at half of Milwaukee Public Schools were given $12,000 in last-dollar aid to pay for their college education once they graduated from high school. With TDP beginning in the fall of 2011, those students are now roughly 22 years old, and their outcomes were tracked through high school and college. Evidence was gathered through the randomized trial by comparing the control and treatment group outcomes, finding that for students who met the performance requirements, the program increased graduation from two-year colleges by 3 percentage points. “This might seem small, but the denominator here is comprised of low-income 9th graders,” the study noted. “Half of the control group did not even graduate from high school, let alone college. The effect amounts to a 25% increase in two-year degrees.” Learn more here.

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