MORGANTOWN, W.Va. — A study from West Virginia University says college graduates in the Mountain State who received a Promise Scholarship are more likely to stay and work in West Virginia.

The WVU College of Business and Economics did the study for the West Virginia Higher Education Policy Commission. Researchers took at look at the college graduates from the past 10 years.

(Read WVU study here)

The study estimates 48 percent of the graduates work here and those who received a Promise Scholarship are more likely to work in their home state.

“Human capital development is crucial to long-run economic prosperity for West Virginia, and as such it is vital to understand how our college and university graduates fare in the labor market,” Dr. John Deskins, Director of the WVU Bureau of Business and Economic Research (BBER) and co-author of the study said in a news release. “This research will be important in designing better public policies surrounding higher education in the future.”

Deskins said another finding showed Promise recipients “exhibit significantly higher work participation rates in West Virginia compared to overall baccalaureate graduates.”

The Promise Scholarship is a merit-based scholarship program.

The study said that more than half of the graduates from the past 10 years that work in the state do so in just two industries: health care and social assistance, and education services.


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  • Aaron

    I'd be interested in how many of those awarded the promise scholarship actually graduate.

  • Joe

    The good news is they're staying here. The not so good news is the industries they've found jobs in are not wealth creators. This is not a slam on health care or the education industry, just a statement of fact.

  • ShinnstonGuy

    Reaching 48 percent is actually pretty darn good for West Virginia. You have to remember that Wal-Mart is this state's number one employer. Getting the requirements for the Promise has gotten much harder in the last five years than in the first five years, so chances are those recipients are going to be shooting for accounting degrees, engineering degrees, and medical degrees among others. To get a job many of them have to leave the state whether they like it or not. So the 48 percent number should be declared a good start on the road to keeping 75 percent in state.

    • Shadow

      There is no question that Promise Scholarships are a positive thing but you must have jobs to keep the graduates in the State. I see very little effort out of the Legislature toward that end of providing a favorable climate that will bring industry or money into the State. There is a definite anti-business climate here.

  • Ron "from Morgantown"

    The Promise Scholarship was the most progressive piece of legislation in my lifetime . It was nothing short of brilliant . To create a social program as big as the Promise Scholarship without raising taxes was Bob Wise finest moment . The Reduce Restrict and Regulate ( limited video lottery act) legislation was a creative way to deal with the thorny issue of 10000 "gray" machines . The Wise administration decision to use those extra lottery funds to send a whole generation of high school students to college for free was a visionary moment that you rarely see from politicians . What makes the Promise so transformative is that so many students are going to college as first generation post secondary students . In other words, nobody prior in that family ever went to college before the Promise legislation . Its the kind of public policy that breaks the vicious cycle of poverty and will go a long way to make the state of West Virginia competitive in the global economy of the 21st century . This is a true investment in our future and will improve the quality of life for thousands of West Virginian's without a single dime from the taxpayers .

    • College1

      I imagine a closer look at the PROMISE data would, in fact, show that most recipients are not first-generation nor low-income students. Instead, recipients tend to be those students who are likely able to afford college tuition. Research shows this was the case with Georgia's HOPE scholarship, a merit scholarship similar to PROMISE.

    • Interesting123

      The bill that created the Promise Scholarship was actually passed under Cecil Underwood in 1999. Then became funded in 2001 when the legislature started to tax and regulate limited video lottery machines. So I guess we can credit Gov. Wise with Taxing something new to pay for a good idea.

  • wvrefugee

    I call BS! Only half of the WV resident students who qualified and received the Promise stayed here. What about all of the other kids that went to college????? These numbers are disturbing but pretty indicative of the "wealth" and job growth created by these politicians and king coal! I just came back after being gone for 20 years and I can say not much has changed! WAKE UP!

  • Sliderule

    A wise 1hillbilly.

  • Shadow

    I wonder is this half are Government and Social Studies graduates?

    • flossrancher

      There are no "Government" or "Social Studies" graduates, Mr. Shadow. Those are middle school classes, not college. You're poking fun at something that doesn't exist. Maybe you mean "Public Administration," "Law," or "Political Science."

      • Shadow

        So Political Correct. You still knew what I meant and that was all that was necessary.

  • 1hillbilly

    What this means is that over half of them are leaving the state !!!

    • Wowbaggers

      New state motto:

      West Virginia, a great place to be from!