Final Report on a Program for School Dropouts
This report, which completes the JOBSTART Demonstration, addresses issues closely linked to the nation’s ongoing debate about how best to improve the employment and earnings prospects of low-skilled, economically disadvantaged young people, who otherwise live outside the economic mainstream.
Lessons from the Dreamkeepers and Angel Fund Emergency Financial Aid Programs
For low-income students, education can be easily derailed by a temporary financial emergency, like the loss of a job or a car repair. This final report offers lessons from two programs created by Lumina Foundation for Education that provide emergency grants or loans to help students at risk of dropping out. Eleven community colleges participated in Dreamkeepers, and 26 tribal colleges or universities participated in Angel Fund.
Implementation and Early Lessons from the Dreamkeepers and Angel Fund Programs
The report describes early findings from MDRC’s evaluation of the Dreamkeepers Emergency Financial Aid Program and the Angel Fund Program, two pilot programs for community college students who are at risk of dropping out because of unexpected financial crises.
For many low-income college students, one of the biggest barriers to attendance is cost. While federal and state financial aid is available to help with tuition, fees, books, and some living expenses, students still often have unmet need, particularly if they are from the poorest families or are independent from their parents.
Many community college students face unexpected financial emergencies. They may be caused by the loss of a job; a health crisis; an unexpected increase in rent, utilities, or child care costs; or even a fire or natural disaster. Many Americans have been hit hard by the recession.
For low-income youth who lack basic skills and drop out of school, finding employment at a living wage is a challenge. Developed by MDRC as a nonresidential alternative to Job Corps, JOBSTART was an unusual collaborative effort to help disadvantaged young people join the economic mainstream.