Further Progress, Persistent Constraints: Findings From a Second Survey of the Welfare-to-Work Grants Program. Enrollment Projections Have Increased Marginally as Additional Funds Are Distributed


As additional funds have been distributed to WtW grantees, projections of overall enrollment have increased (Table III.1). On average, respondents to the second survey reported having nearly $3.0 million, compared to $2.2 million reported by respondents to the first survey. This increase is due mostly to the increased funding allocated in formula grants.

Overall expected enrollment also increased, but not in proportion to increases in available funding. Second survey respondents expect, on average, to serve 595 participants, compared to 537 anticipated by respondents to the first survey. While the average funding levels reported in the second survey were 33 percent higher than those reported in the first survey, mean expected total enrollment in WtW programs was only 10 percent higher (Table III.1). In fact, projections of the number of people to be served by formula, competitive, and formula/competitive grantees are actually lower than the projections made by respondents to the first survey. Total expected enrollment by formula grantees, for example, averages 457, down one percent from projections by respondents to the first survey. Similarly, competitive grantees now expect to serve an average of 640 participants, a 29 percent reduction from projections reported in the first survey.


Grantee Survey
Grantee Survey
Average Total Fundinga $2,235,733 $2,974,945 33.1
Average Total Funding by Subgroup
    Formula-only granteesb $1,774,133 $1,953,270 10.1
    Competitive-only granteesc $3,592,818 $3,678,973 2.4
    Formula and Competitive granteesd $10,497,277 $8,734,384 -1.7
Average Expected Participationa 537 595 10.3e
Average Expected Participation by Subgroup
    Formula-only granteesb 461 457 -0.9
    Competitive-only granteesc 899 640 -28.8
    Formula and Competitive granteesd 1,788 1,452 -18.8
Source: National Evaluation of the Welfare-to-Work Grants Program, First Grantee Survey (November  1998 - February 1999) and Second Grantee Survey (November 1999 - February 2000).

a Our estimates of average WtW funding and projected participation may be slightly overstated due to double-counting. About 0.2 percent of respondents to the first survey and 5.1 percent of respondents to the second survey appeared to be acting as subcontractors to other WtW grantees. A portion of the WtW funding and participation that these organizations reported also may be included in the reports of their funders — if these grantees also responded to the WtW surveys.

b Estimates based on responses from grantees that received formula funds only or formula and discretionary funds.

c Estimates based on responses from grantees that received competitive funds only.

d Estimate based on responses from grantees that received formula and competitive funds, competitive and discretionary funds, or all three types of funds.

e The average participation has increased overall despite the decline among each subgroup of grantees because the respondent sample to the second grantee survey contained a larger proportion of competitive grantees. Organizations that responded to questions on enrollment projection in the second grantee survey included 335 formula-only grantees, 94 competitive-only grantees, and 49 formula and competitive grantees; corresponding figures for the first grantee survey are 371, 24, and 16 respectively.

This apparent anomaly reflects a change in the composition of the grantee sample. The modest increase in overall WtW enrollment expectations results from a higher proportion of competitive grantees, operating at a larger scale on average than formula grantees. Although competitive grantees on average report lower projected enrollment than in the first survey, they also now constitute a large enough portion of the sample to make overall average projected enrollment higher than in the first survey.

The discrepancy between a modest increase in projected enrollment and the larger reported increase in funding is probably explained by two factors. First, some grantees may have already reported in the first survey on their expected enrollment over the full term of their grant; in the second survey, they could not report any increase in projected enrollment, but might still have reported on receipt of a second installment of grant funds, and thus an increase in their total funding.(1)  Second, field visits suggest that some grantees have become a bit more conservative in their projections of enrollment, based on the recruitment difficulties they encountered in the early stages of their program implementation.

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