Upjohn Institute working paper ; 13-200




While previous research has documented how the Kalamazoo Promise, the most prominent and generous place-based college scholarship program, increased enrollment in Kalamazoo Public Schools, this paper qualifies and quantifies the characteristics of students who were induced to enter—or stay—in the district. In particular, it analyzes the origins and destinations, socioeconomic composition, and school-level sorting behavior associated with student flows around the time of the Promise announcement. These dimensions are more subtle than changes in the volume of students or measures of their individual success, but they are equally important to understand for communities exploring the feasibility of place-based scholarships as a local economic development tool. The findings suggest considerable economic benefits not just for the school district but for the broader metropolitan area.

Issue Date

June 2013

Subject Areas

EDUCATION; Postsecondary education; Postsecondary access; Promise scholarships; ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT; Regional policy and planning; Michigan studies; Urban issues




Hershbein, Brad J. 2013. "A Second Look at Enrollment Changes after the Kalamazoo Promise." Upjohn Institute Working Paper 13-200. Kalamazoo, MI: W.E. Upjohn Institute for Employment Research.