Local governments can invest in this strategy using State and Local Fiscal Recovery Funds (SLFRF) from the American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA).
- This strategy can help address educational disparities. The U.S. Department of Treasury has indicated that strategies that help achieve this outcome are eligible for the use of Fiscal Recovery Funds.
Investments in this strategy are SLFRF-eligible as long as they are made in qualified census tracts or are designed to assist populations or communities disproportionately impacted by COVID-19.
- Provide financial aid to students conditional on their achieving certain academic benchmarks
- Aid money is meant to cover 15–25 percent of students’ unmet financial need (the difference between their tuition costs and already existing financial aid).
- Disbursed to students, who can freely decide how to use the funds
Strength of evidence
Evidence level: Promising (Third-highest tier)
Promising (Third-highest tier)
Performance-based scholarships are not yet in any of the major clearinghouses, but has demonstrated positive results in an independent, high-quality evaluation conducted by ____
Students enrolled in post-secondary education
$1,000 to $4,500 maximum scholarship amounts for two, three, or four semesters
- Not available
Outcomes and impact
- Increased academic achievement
- Increased degree completion
- Indeterminate effect on persistence
Keys to successful implementation
- Note: This content is under review.
- Work directly with staff and organizations who have high contact with students to recruit students to participate in the program. Follow up can be conducted both in-person and digitally.
- Build or procure a system with clear, transparent criteria to verify student eligibility for scholarship disbursements, covering everything from the source of student data to rules for extensions if a student becomes ineligible.
- Prioritize scheduling and releasing scholarship disbursements in a timely and accurate manner, including regular dialogue with necessary administrative partners, such as a financial aid office.
- Disburse payments in a way that is distinct from other forms of financial aid, but that still minimizes costs to students (such as bank fees).
- Develop and implement a communications strategy that distinguishes the program as an ongoing incentive – one that needs to be continually earned separately from a traditional scholarship. Communication, therefore, should occur both before the program and at regular intervals throughout it.
- Evaluate the health of the program at regular intervals - such as at the halfway point and ends of each semester – to ensure that eligibility criteria are reasonable and that the scholarship disbursement process operates fairly and smoothly.