Education Policy Initiative Newsletter
Photos of EPI logo, Weill Hall, and EPI faculty

Efforts to expand college access take hold


Wage impact of community college credentials


Student achievement unaffected by capital improvement


EPI-trained researchers enter job market


EPI-supported interns tackle state and federal policy




The Education Policy Initiative engages with practitioners, policymakers and key legislative agencies to identify pertinent education policy questions, conduct rigorous research, and disseminate findings. Co-Directors Susan Dynarski and Brian Jacob founded the initiative in 2012. Our research seeks to improve educational outcomes at all stages—from preschool through adult education. See our website to review our work.



Expanding access to higher education


Researchers and advocates of higher education finance reform have much to celebrate. This includes Susan Dynarski, who has long argued for transparency of data surrounding student loans, student debt, and student outcomes. Dynarski celebrated a big new win in her New York Times Upshot column, "New Data Gives Clearer Picture of Student Debt." Further, students (and their families) will soon be able to apply earlier for aid, using the tax retrieval tool and income from the prior year. Why does this matter? Check our policy brief and Dynarski's column for details.

What next? Dynarski will discuss aid simplification at TEDx Indianapolis on October 20. Catch the live stream or join us for our watch party.



Community college awards lead to increased wages for some students


In their working paper Labor Market Returns to Community College Awards: Evidence From Michigan, EPI researchers track credentials, credits, earnings, and employment across nearly a decade for students who enrolled in five community colleges in Michigan in 2003 and 2004. The research points to considerable variation in impact on wages, depending on field and type of credential.



Do capital improvements impact academic achievement?


In their new working paper Investing in Schools: Capital Spending, Facility Conditions, and Student Achievement, Kevin Stange, Isaac McFarlin and Paco Martorell investigate academic achievement effects of nearly 1,400 capital campaigns initiated and financed by local school districts, comparing districts where school capital bonds were either narrowly approved or defeated by district voters. The evaluation finds little evidence that school capital campaigns improve student achievement or close achievement gaps.



Job market candidates


EPI is privileged to work with and train talented doctoral students and postdoctoral fellows. This year four enter the job market - we wish them much success in securing their next positions and lend our enthusiastic recommendations.

Photo of Katherine Michelmore
Katherine Michelmore, fellow in EPI's Postdoctoral Training Program in Quantitative Methods for Education Policy Research, focuses on the interaction of public policies and family structure, family demography, and access to higher education. She has contributed to EPI's Hail Scholarship and Michigan Merit Curriculum research. Her job market paper is entitled "Timing is Money: Does Lump-Sum Payment of Tax Credits Induce High-Cost Borrowing?"

Photo of Eric Chyn
Eric Chyn is a doctoral candidate in the Department of Economics and a predoctoral trainee at the Population Studies Center at the Institute for Social Research. His main research fields are labor and public economics. He has conducted research on topics in demography and industrial organization and worked with Brian Jacob studying the effects of a housing voucher program. His job market paper is "Moved to Opportunity: The Long-Run Effect of Public Housing Demolition on Children."

Photo of Mónica Hernández
Monica Hernandez is a doctoral candidate in Economics and Public Policy at the University of Michigan. Her fields of interest include economics of education, development economics, labor economics and early childhood education. Her research examines the role that settings outside of school play on educational inequality gaps, in the context of both developing and developed countries. Her job market paper is entitled "Fueling Violence Instead of Education? The Effect of Oil Price Booms on Educational Attainment."

Photo of Max Kapustin
Max Kapustin, doctoral candidate in economics at the University of Michigan, focuses on the effectiveness of anti-poverty programs, such as Medicaid and housing assistance. His job market paper examines the effect of gaps in children's health insurance on their long-term outcomes.



EPI actively supports public policy internships


EPI supported the third cohort of the Michigan Education Data Fellowship and expanded student support to federal internships.

As Michigan Education Data Fellows, MPP students Meredith Reid and Austin Slaughter contributed to two separate evaluations of the relationship between participation in state preschool (Great Start Readiness Program) and third grade academic achievement as well as high school student-to-guidance counselor ratios and college enrollment. Project outcomes included a College Enrollment Report Card, featuring two- and four-year college enrollment rates for all Michigan public high schools, and Michigan's first High School Dropout Early Warning System.

As an Education Pioneers Fellow supported financially by EPI and the Ford School, MPP/MA-Economics student Brendan Malone interned in the U.S. Department of Education's Office of Educational Technology. Brendan helped plan a White House symposium supporting new partnerships in higher education and reimagining quality assurance in non-traditional programs, like MOOCs and coding boot camps.

White House symposium

Fall 2015




Upcoming events



CIERS Visiting Scholars


September 30
Nicole Fortin, UBC

December 2
Steven Hemelt, UNC

March 9
Jennifer Jennings, NYU

April 13
Philip Oreopoulos, UToronto



Public Events

Hold the Date


TEDx Indianapolis
Susan Dynarski, UM

October 20, 2:30 - 4:00


Watch Party

735 S. State Street
Annenberg Auditorium
Ann Arbor, MI 48109


Not on campus? Tune in via live stream


Student Debt Reform
Rohit Chopra, Center for American Progress
Susan Dynarski, UM

January 27, 4:00 - 5:30
735 S. State Street
Annenberg Auditorium
Ann Arbor, MI 48109



Early Childhood Education Panel
Christina Weiland, UM
Daphna Bassok, UVA
Hirokazu Yoshikawa, NYU
Howard Bloom, MDRC

March 22, 4:00 - 5:30
610 E. University Avenue
Prechter Lab
Ann Arbor, MI 48109

































































































































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Our mailing address is:
Education Policy Initiative
Gerald R. Ford School of Public Policy
735 South State Street
Ann Arbor, MI 48109

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