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Title: The Impact of the Navy’s Tuition Assistance Program on the Retention and Promotion of First-term Sailors
Authors: Stephen Mehay
Elda Pema
Keywords: Tuition Assistance (TA) program
first-term Navy enlisted personnel
Issue Date: 1-Mar-2008
Publisher: Acquisition Research Program
Citation: Published--Unlimited Distribution
Series/Report no.: Tuition
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.
Description: Human Resources / NPS Faculty Research
Appears in Collections:Sponsored Acquisition Research & Technical Reports

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