In 2006 the state of Michigan ushered in a new merit-based scholarship program called the Michigan Promise Scholarship (MPS). Students in Michigan who passed four subjects (reading, writing, science and math) of the state-wide 11th grade exam were eligible for the award. Students who were not proficient could still receive scholarship funds after completing two years, or 60 credits, of college course work. Students could receive up to $4,000 in scholarship aid to be used at Michigan institutions dispersed as $1,000 in the Fall and Spring of the first college year, and $2,000 in the Spring of the second college year. Although the state suspended funds for the program in 2009, students in both the graduating high school classes of 2007 and 2008 received funds.
The Michigan Consortium for Educational Research (MCER) is a partnership between the Michigan Department of Education (MDE), Michigan State University (MSU), and the University of Michigan (UM). At the MDE, the Center for Educational Performance and Information (CEPI), Office of Educational Assessment and Accountability (OEAA), and the Office of School Improvement (OSI) all actively participate in the consortium. The College of Education at MSU and the UM Gerald R. Ford School of Public Policy's Education Policy Initiative and the UM School of Education make up the consortium's other active members.
What are the Research Objectives?
The goal of MCER is to engage key stakeholders and experts in high quality education research for the benefit of public education in Michigan and nationwide. To reach this goal MCER is currently evaluating the impact of the Michigan Merit Curriculum and the Michigan Promise Scholarship on student outcomes.
This project evaluates the impact of the MPS on rates of college entry, choice, and completion, as well as examines how impacts of the program may vary by both school and student socio-demographic characteristics, student prior academic achievement and course-taking.
How is the Study Funded?
This research is supported by the Institute of Education Sciences, U.S. Department of Education, through Grant R305E1000008 to the University of Michigan. The opinions expressed are those of the authors and do not represent views of the Institute or the U.S. Department of Education.
Who will Use the Research?
The consortium seeks to answer contemporary education policy questions. MCER provides research-based evidence to policymakers and administrators in Michigan and informs national policy initiatives for improving education.