Future To Discover (FTD) – Post-Secondary Impacts Report - SRDC

This report shows that offering either career education or an early guarantee of financial aid, separately or in combination, to high-school students had significant impacts on their enrolment in post-secondary studies. SRDC’s rigorous evaluation of these interventions found both to increase access to college or university for students traditionally less-likely to attend, such as those from lower-income lower-education families, and boys. The two interventions were tested with some 5,400 students in 51 high schools between 2004 and 2008 as part of the Future to Discover (FTD) project:

  • enhanced workshops on career education in the last three years of high school to students in Grades 10 through 12 in New Brunswick and Manitoba, and
  • an early promise of an $8,000 bursary for post-secondary education when made to New Brunswick students from lower-income families.

A detailed benefit-cost analysis found the early promise of a bursary in particular to be very cost-effective, due to its low administrative cost. It generated $2.00 to $3.40 in benefits to society for each dollar cost to government.

The report presents a full account of the impacts of Future to Discover on the main outcomes of interest including graduation from high school, applying for and enrolling in different types of post-secondary education for the different education systems and population sub-groups. Many interim impacts of the interventions are also of interest, such as on students’ course choices and achievement while in high school, and these are available and in a separate working paper based on school records data. Through rigorous evaluation, Future to Discover is providing much-needed knowledge to inform the selection of programs that deliver the most benefit to Canada’s economy and support all youth in having the opportunity to achieve their potential.

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