While President Obama insists that making college “free” will help disadvantaged students, a new study underscores that educational freedom is what matters most.
As study authors Matthew M. Chingos and Paul E. Peterson explain in Education Next:
…vouchers may have a long-term positive impact on college graduation rates. Certainly, that is the case, on average, for low-income minority students in New York City. Minority students who received a school voucher to attend private elementary schools in 1997 were, as of 2013, 10 percent more likely to enroll in college and 35 percent more likely than their peers in public school to obtain a bachelor’s degree.
An additional 12 gold-standard, random-assignment research studies also have found that parental choice scholarship programs such as vouchers improve high school graduation rates, college attendance rates, and elementary and secondary student achievement—notably among disadvantaged students.