Study: Program sending low-income kids to college

SEATTLE (AP) -- A new report shows low-income kids who participate in Washington's College Bound scholarship program are going to college at nearly the same rate as their richer classmates and well ahead of other poor children who did not sign up.

The scholarship program seems to encourage higher than expected college enrollment and continued college attendance.

The BERC Group was hired by College Spark Washington and the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation to assess the effectiveness of the program.

Washington middle school students who are eligible for free- or reduced-price lunch are invited to sign up for the College Bound scholarship program before high school. It offers a promise of a college scholarship to those students who sign up, stay in school, keep their high school grade point average at 2.0 or above, and stay out of trouble.