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Resource Library

Sharing knowledge is at the heart of our mission. Explore Ascendium’s growing library of publications that examine the complex challenges facing postsecondary learners, and how we’re helping our partners address them.


schools can stop summer melt
September 2021

Schools Can Stop Summer Melt: Lessons Learned from the Wisconsin Text Steps Project

Summer melt is a well-documented phenomenon in efforts to increase college access. However, there are interventions that district and high school level practitioners can use to combat it. This Ascendium-funded report shares key lessons learned from the Text Steps project, which encouraged high school personnel to nudge students over the summer via text message about their postsecondary education plans.
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Optimal College Financial Aid Theory and Evidence
June 2021

Optimal College Financial Aid: Theory and Evidence on Free College, Early Commitment, and Merit Aid from an Eight-Year Randomized Trial

Utilizing data collected through The Degree Project, a partnership between Ascendium, Milwaukee Public Schools and researchers, this working paper analyzes how promise programs and the design of financial aid programs affect a variety of high school, college and life outcomes.
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ResourceThumbnail EmergencyAidToolKit EqualMeasure
September 2019

Training for Emergency Grant Decision-Makers

Ascendium partnered with Equal Measure to fund the development of better tools for emergency grant decision-makers to ask the right questions to get at the root cause of each student's personal financial crisis.
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ResourceThumbnail FreeCollege BrookingsEdu
September 2018

The Degree Project

Does the promise of a college scholarship early in a student's high school career increase the likelihood that the student will go on to and complete higher education? This Brookings report summarizes The 2011 Degree Project.
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