In this commentary originally published in Route Fifty, JoAnn Hsueh, Cynthia Miller, and Michelle Maier discuss how states are supplementing the wages of childcare workers to retain them during widespread staffing shortages. Ensuring eligible workers enroll to receive the benefit can be challenging, but research suggests three strategies to help.
Participating in a College Support Program During the Pandemic and Beyond
This issue focus shares early implementation lessons from an evaluation of MDRC’s Scaling Up College Completion Efforts for Student Success (SUCCESS) and the effect of the COVID-19 pandemic on the program model. It offers lessons that could be relevant to similar programs operating in online, in-person, and hybrid environments.
36-Month Impacts of the Grameen America Program
Grameen America provides microloans to women living in poverty seeking to launch or expand small businesses. The program resulted in a reduction of material hardship and an increase in credit scores, business ownership, business earnings, and nonretirement savings. It also improved participants’ feelings of overall financial well-being.
Early Lessons from SUCCESS
MDRC’s Scaling Up College Completion Efforts for Student Success (SUCCESS) aims to help more low-income students and students of color graduate by combining proven components into an integrated three-year program. This brief describes the model, the study, and adaptations to the COVID-19 pandemic, and offers some early findings.
In this commentary, which originally appeared in The Crime Report, Sam Schaeffer and Ivonne Garcia describe how temporary cash grants provided by the Center for Employment Opportunities helped more than 10,000 returning citizens transition from prison during the pandemic. They also share findings about the program from MDRC’s recent study.
An Evaluation of the Returning Citizens Stimulus Program
In April 2020, the Center for Employment Opportunities launched the Returning Citizens Stimulus (RCS), a cash transfer program that offered financial support to people released from prison or jail. The findings in this report suggest that RCS may provide a promising model for smoothing reentry from incarceration.
Financial aid reduces dropout rates, yet college students are unaware of many financial resources available to them. The 2021 American Rescue Plan Act requires colleges to tell students they can apply for more aid. These evidence-based strategies can help schools create effective messages about aid to get positive responses.
Final Lessons from the EASE Project
This report presents findings from Encouraging Additional Summer Enrollment, which used behavioral insights in two informational campaigns, with and without tuition assistance, to encourage community college students to take summer classes. Both interventions increased enrollment and had a modest impact on credits earned and positive return on investment for colleges.
18-Month Impacts of the Grameen America Program
Grameen America is a microfinance institution that provides business loans to women in poverty in the United States. Results from a randomized controlled trial show the program increased business ownership and earnings, credit worthiness, and savings, and reduced material hardship among participants, but it did not increase overall net income.
A Better Life is an economic mobility program operating in four housing authorities in Massachusetts. This brief discusses how the program has shifted to meet residents’ dramatically different needs during the COVID-19 pandemic.