Brandon Clark, Texas A&M University – Kingsville

Evaluating the Efficacy and Efficiency of the Talent Search Program Using Data From A Southwestern University As A Relative Measure

Abstract: The Talent Search program was implemented in 1965 as a federally funded TRIO program whose goal it was to increase post-secondary education rates among low-income and potential first-generation students by providing them the necessary skills and resources to achieve this goal. However, allocated funds to a program can determine its success. Using existing data collected from a Southwestern four-year state university, which has one of the lowest funded programs, and data of all other institutions provided by the United States Department of Education, this study investigates the extent to which the Talent Search program implemented at this university has produced a less, equal, or more discernible positive effect on students’ retention in the program, financial aid application rates, and post-secondary institution admission rates when compared against data from all institutions that have a higher funded Talent Search program, and also all programs in general. Tests will also be done to observe if there are any correlations between funding, the aforementioned variables, annual cost per student, annual cost per success, and efficiency gaps for all institutions. The statistics analyzed will be from 2007 through 2016. Policy implications of the findings, with respect to the efficacy and efficiency of these programs, will be explored. The results of this exploration will culminate into recommendations for improving the Talent Search program at this university, and potentially others.

Keywords: Talent Search, low-income, enrollment, financial aid

Presentation Author(s):
Brandon Clark*

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