Upcoming Presentations

The Association for Education Finance and Policy (AEFP) Conference

Implementing the Federal Work-Study Program: A Resource Utilization & Cost Study

March 24, 2023, 3:15–4:45 MST
Grand Hyatt Hotel, Room 10 - Mt. Elbert (GHCC, 2nd floor)

What do community colleges and universities need to spend to administer and operate the Federal Work-Study Program (FWS)?

The FWS program is one of the oldest federal policy tools intended to promote college access and persistence for low-income students, pre-dating Pell Grants and Stafford Loans. Unlike other forms of federal student aid which are awarded to students on a formula basis, FWS allocations are granted in aggregate to institutions, which then have significant flexibility in implementing the program, including determining who receives an award and how much, and how students are connected to available jobs. Thus, the full resource cost for institutions to administer and operate FWS is quite different from the institutional allocation of FWS funds, and how much it actually costs institutions to administer and operate FWS is unknown.

We investigate what resources are required to administer and operate the FWS program at the City University of New York (CUNY), the single largest recipient of FWS funds nationally. This investigation is based on collected survey data and information from interviews at six CUNY’s community and senior colleges and student payroll records regarding the number of FWS jobs. We interviewed financial aid directors, FWS coordinators, and others involved in the implementation of the program at CUNY Central and at each participating institution. We analyze this evidence using the ingredients method where each resource is priced out to determine total resource cost.

To administer and operate FWS, institutions must commit resources to the following tasks: (1) accounting, compliance, and auditing of the FWS program; (2) program admission, placement and hiring; (3) overseeing and supervising FWS employment; and (4) processing contracts and payroll; and (5) manual packaging and distribution of discretionary funds. These resources include personnel, technology platforms and software, training, and materials. Since institutions have flexibility in terms of how they manage and operate FWS, the annual cost varies by institution and depending on the number of FWS students.

Institutions with relatively large numbers of FWS students have a FWS coordinator working full-time for the program with the support of at least two financial aid administrators with 60% of their work dedicated to FWS. These institutions also spend on a FWS software package used for online placement and hiring, electronic timesheet submission, tracking student earnings, managing the waitlist for the distribution of discretionary funds, and auditing and compliance. Institutions with fewer FWS students also have a FWS coordinator but that person typically works part-time for the program and without administrative support. At these institutions, FWS coordinators do not have access to a FWS software, which can make their job substantially more labor intensive.

The pandemic caused a few likely permanent changes in FWS training. Financial aid staff at all six institutions stopped attending in-person FWS trainings and workshops. FWS student and supervisor orientations are now delivered virtually at most institutions.

In this first-of-its-kind FWS cost study, we will calculate the full resource cost for institutions to administer and operate FWS and express this amount as total and net cost per student and per dollar of FWS allocation. The net cost will represent the amount of resources committed by the institution from participating in the FSW program.


Veronica Minaya, Senior Research Associate and Program Lead, CCRC

Adela Soliz, Assistant Professor of Higher Education and Public Policy, Peabody College, Vanderbilt University & Research Affiliate, CCRC

Amy E. Brown, Research Associate, CCRC

Project Firstline Community College Collaborative Sessions

Healthcare Pathways: Taking a Closer Look at Your Community and Beyond

April 3, 12:00–1:00 EST

Join this special session where Project Firstline partners will introduce a forthcoming database tool developed by CCRC that provides community college administrators, community leaders, and hospitals and health systems a better understanding of healthcare training programs offered by community colleges and the students who graduate from these programs. Project Firstline is a collaboration between U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, American Hospital Association, and the League for Innovation in the Community College.


Jim Jacobs, Research Affiliate, CCRC

Maria Scott Cormier, Senior Research Associate, CCRC

Abigail Carlson, Infectious Diseases Physician, Project Firstline

Cynthia Wilson, Vice President for Learning and Chief Impact Officer, League for Innovation in the Community College.

American Educational Research Association (AERA)

"Waiving" Goodbye to Placement Testing: Broadening the Benefits of Dual Enrollment Through Statewide Policy

April 16, 8:00-9:30 AM CST

Each year more than a million high school students nationally take college dual enrollment (DE) courses, which have been shown to increase college access and success among participants. Yet racial and other equity gaps in DE participation are widespread. In an effort to broaden the benefits of DE, the state of Ohio passed legislation allowing waivers to test-based eligibility requirements—a frequently identified barrier to equitable access—for specific school-college partnerships providing expanded outreach and support for students underrepresented in the state’s DE program. This mixed methods study evaluates how these partnerships were implemented to intentionally address the needs of underrepresented students, as whether these partnerships were successful in broadening access to DE and success in DE, as measured by DE course pass rates and college matriculation after high school.


Daniel Sparks, Senior Research Assistant, CCRC

Sarah Griffin, Research Associate, CCRC

Institute of Education Sciences' Annual Principal Investigators Meeting

Opportunities and Challenges of Long-Term Follow-Up Studies of Postsecondary Education Programs

May 16-18 2023, Time TBD

In this interactive discussion, you will hear from four researchers who have conducted long-term follow-up studies in postsecondary education using various methodologies. Long-term follow-up studies are becoming increasingly popular among educational researchers and funders. Importantly, these studies allow researchers and their practitioner partners to explore whether programs impact more distal student outcomes (like degree attainment or employment) which represent the ultimate goals of most educational interventions. However, while these studies are appealing and have the potential to inform policy, they also come with distinct challenges. Presenters will discuss the challenges and opportunities of longitudinal research and hold space for audience members to engage in a collaborative conversation.


Elizabeth Kopko, Senior Research Associate, CCRC

Susan Sepanik, Senior Associate, MDRC

Mike Weiss, Senior Fellow, MDRC

Kristina Zeiser, Principal Researcher, AIR

Nikki Edgecombe, Senior Research Scholar, CCRC

The Effects of COVID-19 on Transfer-Intending Students in California’s Community Colleges

November 03, 2022

Following the presentation of new research by PPIC's Cesar Alesi Perez on how the pandemic affected enrollment and persistence among transfer-intending students, an expert panel featuring CCRC Senior Research Scholar Nikki Edgecombe discussed community colleges’ efforts to attract, retain, and support these learners.


Senior Research Scholar
Community College Research Center
Jacob Jackson
Research Fellow
Public Policy Institute of California
Rancho Santiago Community College District
Cesar Alesi Perez
Research Associate
Public Policy Institute of California
Rebecca Ruan-O'Shaughnessy
Vice Chancellor for Educational Services and Support
California Community Colleges