College promise programs, or place-based scholarships, are aimed at helping students attend and afford higher education. The American Dream Scholarship (ADS), offered by Miami Dade College (MDC), is a promise program that covers tuition and fees for the first 60 credits of an associate degree for students residing in and graduating from high school in Miami-Dade County. In this study, we relied on Bourdieu’s (1986) sociological framework to conceptualize the impact of the ADS on MDC’s student body. We posed the research question of whether the scholarship had any effect on total first-time, full-time college enrollment at MDC. Utilizing data primarily from the Integrated Postsecondary Education Data System, we used two comparison groups of colleges that were untreated by any county-level promise program: 26 colleges in the Florida College System and 37 public institutions nationally with the same Carnegie Classification as MDC. We applied difference-in-differences analyses and event studies to explore our research question. Results suggest that compared to untreated institutions in the Florida College System and institutions with the same Carnegie Classification, MDC enrolled 18.5% and 32% more first-time, full-time degree-seeking undergraduates, respectively, after ADS’s inception. This enrollment increase demonstrates that ADS positively contributed to MDC’s programmatic goals to increase student enrollments.
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Copyright (c) 2023 Amy Y. Li, Patricia Katri