Introduction

College Possible is a college readiness nonprofit organization that supports and coaches low-income students in college preparation and success. College Possible has seven offices that provide services in the following metropolitan areas: Portland, OR; Philadelphia, PA; Chicago, IL; Milwaukee, WI; Omaha, NE; and Minneapolis-St. Paul, MN. The College Access Program under College Possible focuses on high school juniors and seniors, offering after-school coaching sessions with AmeriCorps member coaches. There’s also a Summer Bridge component that offers coaching to help students stay on track during summer break. The coaching sessions help students through ACT and SAT test preparation, college application assistance, financial aid consulting, guidance during the transition from high school to college, and ongoing support toward degree completion.

Study Goals

The goal of the study was to explore and quantify the return on investment (ROI) of College Possible’s College Access program in Minnesota.

Research Questions

The research questions include:

  • What are the benefits of the Minnesota College Possible’s College Access program across College Access participants, College Possible AmeriCorps members, and the government?
  • What were the program costs for the 2017–2018 academic year?
  • What is the ROI as measured by total benefits per dollar, total benefits per funder dollar, and federal government benefits per federal dollar?

Findings

The study found the following:

  • The analysis estimated College Possible’s ROI to be between $1.50 and $6.41 per funder dollar, depending on how long program participants and AmeriCorps members experience increased earnings due to College Possible’s College Access program. The return on each dollar of federal.
  • The high school students that participated in College Access have higher college enrollment rates, leading to improved employment and earnings long-term.
  • AmeriCorps members have increased employment, earnings, and educational attainment after their period of national service.
  • Government at the federal, state, and local levels realizes increased tax revenue from the improved employment and earnings of participants and AmeriCorps members.
  • Government spends less on public assistance as a result of improved employment outcomes of participants and employment and educational outcomes of AmeriCorps members.

Return on Investment (ROI) Studies

AmeriCorps and its grantees have invested significant resources in evaluating different agency programs and supported program models designed to improve a range of outcomes for national service members and volunteers, children, families, organizations, and communities across. AmeriCorps conducted ROI analyses to help measure the program performance and build the base of evidence for future resource allocation decisions. In addition, each ROI study helps AmeriCorps communicate the value of its programs to relevant stakeholders. 

The ROI studies listed below evaluated the cost and benefits of each of the following program:

  • AmeriCorps Senior: Foster Grandparents/Senior Companion: This study estimates that the AmeriCorps Seniors Foster Grandparent Program (FGP) and Senior Companion Program (SCP) generate an ROI of $3.50 per funder dollar. FGP alone has an ROI of $2.75 per funder dollar, while SCP has an ROI of $5.08 per funder dollar.
  • Community Technology Empowerment Project (CTEP): This study estimates CTEP’s ROI to be between $2.95 and $34.26 per funder dollar, depending on how long program participants and AmeriCorps members experience increased earnings as a result of CTEP.
  • Minnesota Reading Corps - Kindergarten (MRC): This study estimates MRC Kindergarten’s ROI to be between $5.47 and $6.99 per funded dollar, depending on how long program participants and AmeriCorps members experience increased earnings as a result of MRC Kindergarten.

Full report

Full Report

Further information

Program/Intervention
ROI: AmeriCorps National Service Programming (Education)
Implementing Organization
AmeriCorps Office of Research and Evaluation Commissioned Report
Intermediary(s)

College Possible

AmeriCorps Program(s)
AmeriCorps State and National
Social Innovation Fund
Age(s) Studied
13-17 (Adolescent)
18-25 (Young adult)
Focus Population(s)/Community(s)
Nonprofits
Tribes
Rural
Suburban
Urban
Low-income
Outcome Category
K-12 success
Post-secondary educational support
Benefit to national service members/volunteers
Nonprofit development
Improving AmeriCorps
Study Type(s)
Cost-benefit or Cost Effectiveness Study
Other
Study Design(s)
Quasi-experimental (QED)
Researcher/Evaluator
ICF International
Published Year
2021