Study Finds AmeriCorps College Preparation Program Returns Up to $55 per Dollar Invested
National service reports higher graduation rates for program participants and decreased government spending on corrections and public assistance
WASHINGTON, DC— AmeriCorps, the federal agency for national service and volunteerism, released today a return-on-investment study that measured the value of federal funding invested in education focused programs. The study found Breakthrough Central Texas, an AmeriCorps national college preparation program for low-income middle school students, returns as much as $54.56 of value to the government and communities for every federal dollar invested.
ROI analyses help measure program performance and build the base of evidence for future resource decisions by estimating the monetary value of benefits that a program generates per dollar invested. The total benefits are driven by favorable employment and education opportunities for AmeriCorps members following their service and reduced unemployment.
“AmeriCorps members in programs like Breakthrough Central Texas serve not only as caseworkers but also as mentors and support for our teachers,” said Michael D. Smith, AmeriCorps CEO. “They open the door to possibilities for children who otherwise would have limited access to opportunities, and they demonstrate the power of strengthening community and connections with students. Additionally, these programs provide value to our members who experience career growth and education opportunities after their service year.”
Breakthrough Central Texas programs offer out-of-school learning opportunities and help students overcome systemic, societal barriers to earning college degrees. AmeriCorps members serve as caseworkers, providing academic support, guidance and resources students need to succeed. The program commits to working with each student for 12 years to guide them and their families through the complex process of preparing for, enrolling in and completing college.
Key benefits of Breakthrough Central Texas include:
- Growth in high school and college graduates among program participants
- Increased post-service earnings by AmeriCorps members
- Increased tax revenue for government
- Reduced lifetime spending on corrections, public assistance and social insurance
AmeriCorps provides funding, people power and resources to support education-related projects. More than 12,000 schools across the country are leveraging national service programs to assist them in these areas and many others. Approximately 65,000 AmeriCorps members and AmeriCorps Seniors volunteers are providing cost-effective, high-impact services to address schools’ most pressing needs and ensure that all students are ready for college, careers and full participation in civic life. National service programs support schools in urban and rural areas, schools with large low-income populations, traditional public schools, public charter schools and schools with large minority and multilingual populations.
AmeriCorps was recognized for outstanding performance in the Results for America’s 2021 Invest in What Works Federal Standard of Excellence, a report that measures agencies data-driven decision-making to improve the impact of federal investments. Specifically, AmeriCorps was highlighted for the agency’s use of data and evidence to increase the impact of national service grants in more than 40,000 locations to make government investment as effective and efficient as possible.