Stay Updated About School Choice

What the Research Says About School Choice

Independent research supports the need for—and the benefits of—school choice. Read what the research says about school choice. To read fact sheets on school choice around the nation, visit our facts page.

College Enrollment

  • New York: African American participants in a private school choice program were 24 percent more likely to enroll in college as a result of receiving a voucher.  The study by the Brookings Institution and Harvard University also shows that African American enrollment rates in selective colleges more than doubled among voucher students, and the rate of enrollment in full-time colleges increased by 31 percent.  Using a randomized experiment to measure the impact of school vouchers on college enrollment, researchers tracked voucher students in New York City over a nearly 15-year period.

Read the Study: The Effects of School Vouchers on College Enrollment: Experimental Evidence from New York City

Graduation Rates

  • Washington, D.C.: Students who used their voucher in the D.C. Opportunity Scholarship Program graduated at a rate of 91 percent—more than 20 percentage points higher than those interested in the program who did not receive a scholarships and more than 30 percent higher than the graduation rate of D.C. Public Schools.

Read the Study: Evaluation of the DC Opportunity Scholarship Program: Final Report

  • Wisconsin: Students participating in the Milwaukee Parental Choice Program had 76.6 percent on-time graduation rate—more than 7.2 percentage points higher than the graduation rate of students in Milwaukee Public Schools.

Read the Study: Student Attainment and the Milwaukee Parental Choice Program

Academic Achievement

  • Washington, D.C.: Students who receive a voucher in the D.C. Opportunity Scholarship Program demonstrated “the largest achievement impact of any education policy program yet evaluated” by the U.S. Department of Education. Participants in the program also made statistically significant gains in reading.  Specifically, OSP students gained more than 3 months of additional learning in reading over their public school peers.

Read the Studies: Evaluation of the DC Opportunity Scholarship Program Impacts After Three YearsEvaluation of the DC Opportunity Scholarship Program Impacts After Two Years

  • Florida: Students participating in the Florida Scholarship Tax Credit performed just as well—if not better—than students nationally. “The typical student participating in the program tended to maintain his or her relative position in comparison with others nationwide. It is important to note that these national comparisons pertain to all students nationally, and not just low-income students,” the study’s author, David Figlio, said.

Read the Study: Evaluation of the Florida Tax Credit Scholarship Program: Participation, Compliance and Test Scores in 2009-10

Taxpayer Savings

  • Florida: The non-partisan Office of Program Policy Analysis & Government Accountability estimated that the Florida Scholarship Tax Credit saved $36.2 million in fiscal year 2008-09.

Read the Study: Florida Tax Credit Scholarship Program: Fiscal Year 2008-09 Fiscal Impact

  • Wisconsin: An ongoing state-sponsored fiscal analysis of the Milwaukee Parental Choice Program found that the voucher program is producing growing net statewide taxpayer savings.  In fiscal year 2010, the estimated savings was $46.7 million, and the estimated net fiscal benefit in fiscal year 2011 is $51.9 million.

Read the Study: The Fiscal Impact of the Milwaukee Parental Choice Program: 2010 – 2011 Update and Policy Options