In “Time for Change: A New Federal Strategy to Prepare Disadvantaged Students for College” Brookings Senior Fellow Ron Haskins and Dean of Princeton’s Woodrow Wilson School Cecilia Rouse review evaluations of the four main federal programs designed to increase the number of disadvantaged students who graduate from college and decrease economic inequality. They find that the U.S. Department of Education’s TRIO programs (Upward Bound, Talent Search, Upward Bound Math-Science, Student Support Services and others), at around $1 billion per year, “show no major effects on college enrollment or completion.” They offer a comprehensive five-step plan for reforming these programs.


  1. Ron Haskins, Harry Holzer, and Robert Lerman, "Promoting Economic Mobility by Increasing Postsecondary Education"
  2. (Washington, D.C.: Pew Economic Mobility Project, 2009).
  3. Andrew Venezia and Laura Jaeger, "Transitions from High School to College," Future of Children 23, no. 1 (Spring 2013): 117-36.