The Impact of the Navy's Tuition Assistance Program on the Retention and Promotion of First-term Sailors

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Authors
Mehay, Stephen
Pema, Elda
Subjects
Tuition
Tuition Assistance (TA) program, first-term Navy enlisted personnel, retention
Advisors
Date of Issue
2008-03-01
Date
01-Mar-08
Publisher
Language
Abstract
This study analyzes the impact of the Navy''s Tuition Assistance (TA) program on the retention and job performance of first-term Navy enlisted personnel. Prior studies analyzing the retention effect of the Navy''s TA program have produced conflicting results''one study finding that participants are more likely to leave the Navy, the other study finding they are more likely to stay. Our analysis of this relationship has several advantages over the prior studies. First, the analysis exploits a unique feature in the data to create a natural control group that allows us to adjust for the potential selection bias. Second, we use a larger data set consisting of cohorts of recruits who entered the Navy between 1994 and 2001. The recruits are tracked during their first five years of service. We find that first term sailors who use TA to enroll in college classes have a significantly higher probability of reenlistment and of promotion to both E4 and to E5 than those who participate but do not complete their courses. While these results are robust to the controls for selection, the results indicate that self-selection into the program is likely to explain as much as one-half of the baseline retention effect. An additional finding is that women and minorities are more likely to take college-courses and that retention and promotion rates of women and minority TA participants tend to be better than their peers.
Type
Technical Report
Description
Sponsored Report (for Acquisition Research Program)
Department
Human Resources
NPS Faculty
Identifiers
NPS Report Number
NPS-HR-08-111
Sponsors
Naval Postgraduate School Acquisition Research Program
Funder
Format
Citation
Distribution Statement
Rights
This publication is a work of the U.S. Government as defined in Title 17, United States Code, Section 101. Copyright protection is not available for this work in the United States.