Incremental Aid to Promote Student Success

September, 2013
Michelle Ware, Evan Weissman, Drew McDermott

Aid Like A Paycheck is based on a simple idea that is gaining national attention: after tuition and fees have been paid to a college, disburse the remaining financial aid to students evenly throughout the term — like a paycheck. This brief describes successful pilot tests at two colleges and discusses policy implications.

Can existing financial aid programs do more to help low-income college students achieve academic success? MDRC is conducting a large-scale evaluation of Aid Like A Paycheck, a new program based on a simple yet potentially transformative idea: After the college receives payment for tuition and fees, disburse remaining financial aid to students...


Lessons for Practitioners

September, 2013

Too many low-income, college-ready students enroll in colleges for which they are academically overqualified or don’t go to college at all. This brief offers five strategies from MDRC’s College Match Program in Chicago for practitioners interested in helping high school students make the best college match possible.

Adverse birth outcomes result in significant emotional and economic costs for families and communities. One promising avenue for helping expectant women is home visiting programs, which work with parents to promote prenatal care and improve infant health. The Mother and Infant Home Visiting Program Evaluation-Strong Start (MIHOPE-Strong Start...


Final Impact and Implementation Findings from the Foundations of Learning Demonstration in Newark and Chicago

January, 2013
Pamela Morris, Chrishana M. Lloyd, Megan Millenky, Nicole Leacock, Cybele Raver, Michael Bangser

Intensive professional development and in-class support for preschool teachers produced more positive teacher-student interactions, more effective management of challenging behaviors, less problem behavior, higher engagement in learning, and more instruction time. However, there was no clear effect on short-term academic achievement, and the long-term effects on children remain uncertain.

Working Paper

An Analysis of the Interaction among Quality-of-Life Indicators from the New Communities Program Evaluation

June, 2012
Sonya Williams, George Galster, Nandita Verma

This paper explores analytic methods that assess the rate at which changes in neighborhood quality of life occur. It looks at correlations among quality indicators over time and the effect of both neighborhood context and conditions beyond the neighborhood, like the Great Recession, identifying which indicators are predictors of others.


Policy Engagement and Systems Change in the New Communities Program

June, 2012
Robert Chaskin, Mikael Karlström

This report describes the efforts of four local agencies in a comprehensive community initiative (CCI) in Chicago, exploring their engagement with policy issues to improve their neighborhoods. It considers this CCI’s potential for working more actively to change the larger systems that shape neighborhoods, with implications for CCIs nationwide.


Lessons from the Employment Retention and Advancement (ERA) Project

April, 2012
Gayle Hamilton, Susan Scrivener

Many recipients of Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) and other low-income individuals find or keep jobs for a while, but far fewer remain steadily employed and advance in the labor market. This report describes results and draws lessons from rigorous evaluations of 12 programs seeking to improve employment retention and advancement among low-wage workers.


Final Results from the Transitional Jobs Reentry Demonstration

May, 2012
Erin Jacobs Valentine

Transitional jobs programs in four Midwestern cities substantially increased short-term employment by providing jobs to many ex-prisoners who would not otherwise have worked. However, the gains faded as men left the transitional jobs, and the programs did not increase unsubsidized employment nor did they reduce recidivism.