We are very pleased to share the results of a new study on Children’s Scholarship Fund alumni from New York and Omaha by Stanford professor Eric Bettinger and his team. Although we internally survey our scholarship alumni annually to find out if they graduate high school on time and what their ongoing plans are, this is the first formal study on CSF alumni that has given us real insight into what former scholarship recipients go on to achieve after high school. The findings include:
- College enrollment: The overall college attendance rate for CSF alumni in New York and Omaha is an impressive 68.4 percent (New York: 63.5 percent, Omaha: 79.5 percent). Nationally, college going rates are between 60 and 70 percent for all students regardless of income or geographic locale; most recently in 2013, the rate was 65.9 percent. In contrast, the enrollment rate for low-income recent high school graduates was 45.5 percent in 2013.
- College persistence: CSF alumni showed comparatively low drop-out rates after the first semester (4-9 percent) and after the first year of college (7-23 percent). Most dropout behavior occurs in the first year of students’ collegiate careers. The national average for attrition after the first year of college is 29 percent, six points higher than the highest rate for CSF cohorts.
- College graduation: Out of all CSF alumni who entered college, 42.5 percent earned a degree. According to a 2015 study by University of Pennsylvania and the Pell Institute, only nine percent of Americans in the lowest economic bracket earn degrees by age 24 overall.
In other words, CSF alumni have a much higher likelihood of enrolling in and graduating from college than low-income students nationally, despite coming from socio-economic backgrounds usually associated with much lower rates. And while CSF does not define lifetime success only in terms of college matriculation and graduation, this is very encouraging news.
These quantitative results are bolstered by the anecdotal evidence we receive daily from our Scholars, alumni, and their parents, who are grateful for the opportunities CSF scholarships have afforded them. For example, at a recent CSF event, alumna Kauribel Javier, a rising sophomore at Princeton, noted, “I cannot begin to stress enough how important the Children’s Scholarship Fund is in providing students with the education they need to succeed. My hope is that one day I change someone’s life in the way that CSF changed mine.”
You can find the full study on our Research page.