Skip to main content

| |   Follow Penn AHEAD on Facebook Follow Penn AHEAD on Twitter    Follow Penn AHEAD on LinkedIn


Publications, Press Coverage & Inquiries

Journal Articles & Reports

Perna, L.W., Wright-Kim, J., & Leigh, E. (2021). Will college promise programs improve or reduce equity? Understanding the contextual conditions that influence implementation. Education Policy Analysis Archives, 29(26). This article is part of the special issue, Policy Implementation as an Instrument to Achieve Educational Equity in the Community College Context, guest edited by Eric R. Felix, H. Kenny Nienhusser, Ángel Gonzalez, Luz Burgos-López.

Perna, L.W., Wright-Kim, J., & Leigh, E. (2020, December). Recognizing the implications of promise program design for equity and efficiency. College Promise, Policy Brief.

Perna, L. W., Wright-Kim, J., & Leigh, E. (2020). Is a College Promise Program an Effective Use of Resources? Understanding the Implications of Program Design and Resource Investments for Equity and Efficiency. AERA Open. Online first:

Perna, L.W., & Smith, E. (Eds., 2019). Improving Research-Based Knowledge of College Promise Programs. Washington, DC: American Educational Research Association.

Rauner, M., Perna, L.W., & Kanter, M. (2018, November). California college promise: Program characteristics and perceptions from the field. San Francisco, CA: WestEd.

Perna, L.W., & Leigh, E. (2018). Understanding the promise: A typology of state and local college promise programs. Educational Researcher. Online first:

Perna, L.W., Leigh, E., & Carroll, S. (2017). “Free college:” A new and improved state approach to increasing educational attainment? American Behavioral Scientist, 61, 1740-1757.

Perna, L. W. (2016, October). Delivering on the promise: Structuring college promise programs to promote higher education attainment for students from underserved groups. Philadelphia, PA: University of Pennsylvania, Alliance for Higher Education and Democracy. 

Blog Posts


EPAA. (2021, February 26). Dr. Perna, Wright-Kim, and Leigh on College Promise Programs [Video].

American Educational Research Association. (2019, December 10). Improving Research-Based Knowledge of College Promise Programs [Video].


May 29, 2019 College Promise Conference co-sponsored by the Federal Reserve Bank of Philadelphia and Penn AHEAD (video and materials available)

University of Delaware. 2018, October 30. Biden Challenge Plenary III - The Role of Innovation. Available at

Media Mentions


For more information, please contact Penn AHEAD.