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Universal pre-k and college enrollment: Is there a link?


In this study, we use data from a cohort of 4,033 Tulsa kindergarten students to investigate the relationship between pre-K enrollment and later college enrollment. Specifically, we test whether participation in the Tulsa Public Schools universal pre-K program and the Tulsa CAP Head Start program predict enrollment in two-year or four-year colleges. We use propensity score weighting with multiply imputed data sets to estimate these associations. We find that college enrollment is 12 percentage points higher for Tulsa pre-K alumni compared with children who did not attend Tulsa pre-K or Head Start. College enrollment is 7.5% higher for Head Start alumni compared to children who did not attend Head Start or Tulsa pre-K, although this difference is only marginally significant. Although Tulsa pre-K attendance is associated with two-year college enrollment among children from all racial and ethnic backgrounds, only among Black and Hispanic students does it predict four-year college enrollment. (author abstract)

Resource Type:
Reports & Papers
United States
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