Education Finance and Policy

Returns to Education at Community Colleges

With costs of higher education skyrocketing, relatively low-cost community colleges play a critical role in policy debates regarding college access. Previous research on community colleges has focused on outcomes for those enrolled in post-secondary education in the 1980s and 1990s. The most recent research on the topic has primarily relied on administrative data - which is limited in terms of examining outcomes for those without previous work experience, and does not allow for comparison to a control group of adults who did not attend college.

Historical Analysis of Student Loan Repayments

While significant research has been devoted to student loan borrowing and default, considerably less attention has been paid to other repayment outcomes. Yet, federal student loan policy has seen two recent shifts toward 1) measurement of student loan outcomes using repayment rates versus default rates and 2) increased use of Income-Driven Repayment (IDR) plans that tie repayment to borrowers’ incomes.

A new study by researchers at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and RTI International in vol. 14, issue 4 of EFP examines these trends.

The Promise of Place-based Investment in College Access

Place-based promise scholarships are a relatively recent innovation aimed at expanding college access, while promoting regional economic development through scholarships awarded to students in distinct geographic areas. Following the launch of a place-based scholarship in Kalamazoo, Michigan in 2005, over 100 communities have implemented similar promise programs. Despite the rapid growth in these scholarship programs, research regarding the effects of the programs has not kept up. A new study by researchers at the University of Pittsburgh in vol. 14, issue 4, helps to bridge this gap.

Just Accepted

  • The impact of schooling intensity on student learning: Evidence from a quasi-experiment. Vincenzo Andrietti and Xuejuan Su
  • Supplement or Supplant? Estimating the Impact of State Lottery Earmarks on Higher Education Funding. Elizabeth Bell, Wesley Wehde, and Madeleine Stucky
  • Can Simplifying Financial Aid Offers Impact College Enrollment and Borrowing? Experimental and Quasi-Experimental Evidence. Kelly Ochs Rosinger

Early Access

  • Validating Teacher Effects on Students’ Attitudes and Behaviors: Evidence from Random Assignment of Teachers to Students. David Blazar
  • I Want You! Expanding College Access through Targeted Recruiting Efforts. Brian J. Miller and William L. Skimmyhorn
  • The Impact of State Aid Reform on Property Values: A Case Study of Maryland's Bridge to Excellence in Public Schools Act. Il Hwan Chung, William Duncombe, and John Yinger
  • The Effects of Subgroup-Specific Accountability on Teacher Turnover and Attrition. Matthew Shirrell

Editorial Info


Stephanie Cellini, Trachtenberg School of Public Policy & Public Administration, George Washington University

Randall Reback, Department of Economics, Barnard College

Associate Editors:

Nora Gordon, McCourt School of Public Policy, Georgetown University

Cassandra Hart, School of Education, University of California, Davis

Steven Hemelt, Department of Public Policy, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill

Andrew McEachin, RAND Corporation


Forthcoming in Education Finance and Policy Vol. 15, No. 2, Spring 2020

The articles listed in this table of contents may be available under the Just Accepted or Early Access tab.


Apply Yourself: Racial and Ethnic Differences in College Application
Sandra E. Black, Kalena F. Cortes, and Jane Arnold Lincove

Is School Out for the Summer? The Impact of Year-Round Pell Grants on Academic and Employment Outcomes of Community College Students
Vivian Yuen Ting Liu

Current Issue: Volume 15, Issue 1, Winter 2020

Education Finance and Policy - Volume 15, Issue 1, Winter 2020

Presidential Essay

Maximizing Research Use in the World We Actually Live In: Relationships, Organizations, and Interpretation. Carrie Conaway. Education Finance and Policy Winter 2020, Vol. 15, No. 1, pp. 1–10

When I started my job as research director of the Massachusetts Department of Elementary and Secondary Education twelve years ago, I thought my job was to figure out what worked.