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An Analysis of Oregon GEAR UP Program 2008-2014: Outcomes Explored

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  • Gaining Early Awareness and Readiness in Undergraduate Programs (GEAR UP) is a federal program that aims to significantly increase the number of low-income students who are prepared to enter and succeed in postsecondary education. Oregon has been receiving GEAR UP funding since 2002. In 2008-2014, Oregon received its second round of GEAR UP funding to implement the program at another 12 clusters of 24 schools. The school clusters that received the second round of funding are the focus of this study. This study marks the first evaluation of its kind for Oregon GEAR UP. The study uses a matched comparison group of non-GEAR UP schools to ascertain the effect of GEAR UP participation on three student outcomes: high school graduation rate, fall college enrollment rate, and delayed college enrollment rate. Utilizing a quasi-experimental design, Ordinary Least Squares panel analysis reveals that while GEAR UP participation does not have a significant effect on the high school graduation rate, GEAR UP participation does have a significant positive impact on the college enrollment rate, for both immediate college enrollment and delayed college enrollment when compared to a comparison group.
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