About ASAP Evaluation
ASAP has been rigorously evaluated and is committed to continuous improvement through the use of data. ASAP evaluation includes ongoing internal analysis by CUNY utilizing a quasi-experimental constructed comparison group design, a five-year experimental design random assignment study led by MDRC, and cost-benefit analysis led by Professor Henry Levin and the Center for Benefit-Cost Studies in Education (CBCSE) at Teachers College. There have been six ASAP cohorts totaling 4,594 students admitted across all participating community colleges, with the first cohort entering in Fall 2007 and the sixth in Fall 2012.
Key findings from CUNY's Evaluation of ASAP
- There are large and significant differences between ASAP and comparison group students in terms of retention rates, movement through developmental course work, credit accumulation, and graduation rates. These differences are seen as early as the first semester and continue to be found at all junctures over a three-year period.
- Students who start ASAP with developmental needs graduate at very similar rates to students who enter fully skills proficient: after three years, 55% of both types of ASAP students have graduated versus 20% of non-ASAP students with developmental needs and 25% of fully skills proficient non-ASAP students.
- Students from underrepresented groups appear to gain more benefit from ASAP than other students.
- When graduation and transfer are considered together, 63 out of every 100 students who began ASAP three years earlier have either graduated, transferred to a baccalaureate program, or both—versus 44 comparison group students.
- Most importantly, ASAP students graduate at more than double the rates of non-ASAP students, with increases in graduation rates after three years of at least 30%.
In June 2012, MDRC released a preliminary findings report for the ASAP random assignment study, which includes a sample of 900 students at three college (BMCC, Kingsborough, and LaGuardia). The report includes first-to-second semester findings for participants in cohorts three and four—those who were randomly assigned to ASAP and a control group of regularly admitted community college students.
The MDRC report shows that, in comparison to the control participants, ASAP increases full-time enrollment, credits earned, completion of developmental coursework, and first-to-second semester retention. These first effects of ASAP are larger than those of most community college programs that MDRC has studied. CUNY’s analyses of all cohorts of ASAP students are remarkably similar to findings from MDRC’s preliminary report on a subset of ASAP students.
Cost Benefit Study of ASAP
In September 2012, Dr. Henry Levin, director of the Center for Benefit-Cost Studies in Education (CBCSE) at Teachers College released part one of his cost-benefit study of ASAP. Dr. Levin's cost-effectiveness analysis reveals that the average cost per three-year ASAP graduate is lower than comparison group graduates. Part two of Dr. Levin's study will examine the benefits of timely graduation for the individual and public sector.
Click here to read the press release issued by CUNY and the Office of the Mayor on the ASAP cost-benefit report >>
Part two of Dr. Levin’s study was released in May 2013. The benefit-cost study found that an investment in ASAP has large financial returns for both the taxpayer and the ASAP student.