The Situation 

Wallin Education Partners describes themselves as a college completion program for high potential students with financial needs, specifically students of color and first generation college students from the Twin Cities, Austin or Granite Falls public schools. The program provides both financial and personal support for students to help them in their college journey, professional development, career growth and overall improved well being. 

Ecotone was brought in to evaluate how much of an impact its program has on its participants and identify specific measurable outcomes. 

Ecotone’s Work

As seen on the Impact Value Map shown below, Ecotone found that the average cost per scholar ($23,397) yields approximately $182,281 in lifetime earnings, health and economic activity benefits. These benefits are seen by the scholar, taxpayers and society. 

In addition to this Ecotone found a projected SROI of $7.79 for each $1 invested.

A measure specific to this project is the 33% projected graduation lift. This measures the increased likelihood of a scholar to graduate compared to non-scholars. 

Below you can also see the Five Dimensions of Impact on the right hand side and beside that are Wallin’s Key Performance Indicators. Along the bottom is the Logic Model/Theory of Change which includes Inputs, Outputs and three levels of outcomes. 

The Outcomes

Using the outcomes identified and measured by Ecotone, Wallin is better able to communicate the clear benefits of its scholarship program to different stakeholders, such as donors. 

In addition to measuring the impact of its current program, Ecotone also found some areas with opportunities for future research. A longitudinal study of participants could further cement the impact of the program and identify which parts of the program individually or in combination with others create the most value for the students they help. This type of research would not only support Wallin’s goals, but also better help similar post secondary programs support participants.

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