Keeping Kids in School: A Study Examining the Long-Term Impact of Afterschool Enrichment Programs on Students’ High School Dropout Rates

Denise Huang, Kyung Sung Kim, Jamie Cho, Anne Marshall, Patricia Perez


Despite the potential benefits of afterschool programs, much of the related research has been limited to an examination of only their immediate or short-term effects. The LA’s BEST afterschool program has been in operation for more than 20 years, providing researchers with a unique opportunity to explore the long-term effects of afterschool programming. This study examined the dropout rates of the LA’s BEST afterschool participants and compared them to a stratified random district sample that was matched to the characteristics of the afterschool students. The results indicated that students who had participated in the afterschool program for at least three years showed a significantly lower dropout rate than the district students overall.

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