The Effects of Statewide Private School Choice on College Enrollment and Graduation

The Effects of Statewide Private School Choice on College Enrollment and Graduation

Private school choice programs that enable low-income students to attend private schools can boost college enrollment and graduation rates among participating students, a report from the Urban Institute finds. The report, The Effects of Statewide Private School Choice on College Enrollment and Graduation (52 pages, PDF), found that students who participated in the Florida Tax Credit Scholarship Program, the nation’s largest private school choice program, had enrollment rates at the state’s public colleges and universities — mostly community colleges — about 15 percent higher than non-participants, and 43 percent higher for those who participated for at least four years. Funded by the Bill and Susan Oberndorf, Walton Family, Robertson, and Charles and Helen Schwab foundations; the Foundation for Excellence in Education; and Kate and Bill Duhamel, the report also found, however, that FTC participation had little to no impact on degree attainment. While the associate degree attainment rate of students who started FTC in elementary or middle school was about 8 percent higher than non-FTC students, there was no difference for those who started FTC in high school.