The Degree Project was launched in 2011 with a promise made to half of that year's freshman class: if you graduated on time from MPS with a 2.5 or higher GPA and an attendance record of at least 90%, and complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA®), we would award up to $12,000 to help pay for your education at a two- or four-year nonprofit Wisconsin college.
Four years later, 445 students met the program's graduation requirements and we followed through on our promise by committing more than $5 million in scholarships to help them pay for college.
An evaluation of the program, independently funded by the U.S. Department of Education's Institute for Education Sciences, is being conducted to determine whether The Degree Project actually increased the rate that students graduated from high school and went on to college. It is the country's first randomized trial of a promise program. By following The Degree Project students from high school through college, the research team is assessing the effect these scholarships have on college preparation, enrollment and degree completion.
When more research results are available we look forward to sharing them with our colleagues in the field. As of Summer 2019—when the scholarship period ended—more than 300 students had enrolled in 32 different Wisconsin colleges and over 150 students have received the maximum $12,000 scholarship. Since the beginning of this project, we have disbursed $2.68 million to help more students realize their dreams of going to college.