MIT News

Study: Preschool gives a big boost to college attendance

MIT News covers MIT Blueprint Labs Co-Director Parag Pathak’s work studying long-term outcomes of children who attended public preschool in Boston from 1997-2003.

“‘We find that 4-year-olds who were randomly allocated a seat in a public Boston preschool during this time period, 1997 to 2003, are more likely to attend college, and that it’s a pretty large effect,’ says Parag Pathak, a professor in MIT’s Department of Economics and co-author of a newly published paper detailing the study’s results. ‘They’re also more likely to graduate from high school, and they’re more likely to take the SAT.’

The study does not find a connection between preschool attendance and higher scores for students on Massachusetts’ standardized tests. But it does find that children who attended preschool had fewer behavioral issues later on, including fewer suspensions, less absenteeism, and fewer legal-system problems.”