NotesFAQContact Us
Search Tips
ERIC Number: ED508083
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 2009-May
Pages: 7
Abstractor: ERIC
Reference Count: N/A
State Early Commitment Programs: A Contract for College Success? Policy Matters: A Higher Education Policy Brief
Harnisch, Thomas L.
American Association of State Colleges and Universities
Access to a quality, affordable college education remains a cornerstone of American economic and social development. Individuals from all backgrounds need the knowledge and skills afforded by higher education to compete in an increasingly integrated--and competitive--global economy. Greater educational attainment correlates with many positive personal and societal benefits, including a higher standard of living, enhanced social mobility and less reliance on public programs. With this in mind, a wide disparity continues to exist between low- and higher-income students with respect to college attendance and completion. The likelihood of adequate preparation for, enrollment in and completion of postsecondary education strongly correlates with students' household income status. Yearly tuition increases may only aggravate and expand this socioeconomic challenge. State governments have attempted to assuage this discrepancy by offering financial aid based on the economic need of the student. During the last decade, however, states and institutions have gradually placed an increased emphasis on financial aid based on academic merit, as opposed to financial need. One niche in the plethora of state-based financial aid programs, currently limited to a small number of states, are "early-commitment" programs that seek to integrate these various policy efforts by offering a contract between states and middle school students. These contracts call for students to complete a rigorous high school core curriculum in exchange for student financial aid. Such early-commitment programs seek to fundamentally improve college readiness and expectations of pursuing higher education among low-income students. This paper provides some observations on state early-commitment programs. An overview of key elements of these programs is also discussed. (Contains 1 figure and 11 resources.)
American Association of State Colleges and Universities. 1307 New York Avenue NW Fifth Floor, Washington, DC 20005. Tel: 202-293-7070; Fax: 202-296-5819; Web site:
Publication Type: Reports - Evaluative
Education Level: Elementary Secondary Education; Middle Schools
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: American Association of State Colleges and Universities
Identifiers - Location: Illinois; Indiana; Iowa; New York; Oklahoma; Rhode Island; Washington; Wisconsin