Date of Award

Spring 5-17-2019

Author's School

Olin Business School

Author's Program

Business Administration

Degree Name

Bachelor of Science in Business Administration (BSBA)




As states have increased their commitment to early childhood education over the past two decades, a debate on the efficacy of state-sponsored universal preschool has divided policymakers, administrators, and taxpayers. Some critics of these programs argue that universal preschool has a diminishing impact which does not justify the up-front cost, while supporters argue that there are long-term positive effects of high quality, universal early childhood education which outweigh the cost. In this paper, we examine the effect, if any, that the existence of a state-funded universally available preschool program has had on county-level average ACT scores in a before-and-after multivariable regression analysis. This analysis was then expanded to include analysis on the impact of universal preschool on ACT scores for low-income student populations and high-enrollment student populations. We found that the existence of a universally available preschool program had a statistically significant positive effect on students and that the impact on ACT Scores was higher for low-income students.


Tat Chan

Additional Advisors

William Bottom