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The role of information in the application for highly selective scholarships: Evidence from a randomized field experiment

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  • Herber, Stefanie P.

Abstract

This paper analyzes whether information asymmetries prevent students from a non-academic background, i.e., students who are the first in their families to study, from applying for highly selective scholarships. I randomly assigned German higher education students to receive either general information on these scholarships or additionally personalized information on details of the application process conveyed by a similar role model. The combination of the general information with the role model interview significantly increased application probabilities for scholarships of students from non-academic families. Providing general information on the scholarship system only triggered students’ own information search for alternative funding sources and increased application rates for other not federally funded scholarships.

Suggested Citation

  • Herber, Stefanie P., 2018. "The role of information in the application for highly selective scholarships: Evidence from a randomized field experiment," Economics of Education Review, Elsevier, vol. 62(C), pages 287-301.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:ecoedu:v:62:y:2018:i:c:p:287-301
    DOI: 10.1016/j.econedurev.2017.12.001
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    Cited by:

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    2. Estelle Herbaut & Koen Geven, 2019. "What Works to Reduce Inequalities in Higher Education? A Systematic Review of the (Quasi-)Experimental Literature on Outreach and Financial Aid," Sciences Po publications info:hdl:2441/527ht1a96e8, Sciences Po.
    3. Firoozi, Daniel, 2022. "The impact of post-admission merit scholarships on enrollment decisions and degree attainment: Evidence from randomization," Economics of Education Review, Elsevier, vol. 86(C).
    4. Cavalletti, Barbara & Corsi, Matteo & Persico, Luca & di Bella, Enrico, 2021. "Public university orientation for high-school students. A quasi-experimental assessment of the efficiency gains from nudging better career choices," Socio-Economic Planning Sciences, Elsevier, vol. 73(C).
    5. Peter, Frauke & Spiess, C. Katharina & Zambre, Vaishali, 2021. "Informing students about college: Increasing enrollment using a behavioral intervention?," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 190(C), pages 524-549.
    6. Jones, Sam & Santos, Ricardo, 2022. "Can information correct optimistic wage expectations? Evidence from Mozambican job-seekers," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 159(C).
    7. Estelle Herbaut & Koen Geven, 2019. "What Works to Reduce Inequalities in Higher Education? A Systematic Review of the (Quasi-)Experimental Literature on Outreach and Financial Aid," SciencePo Working papers Main hal-03456943, HAL.
    8. Mostafa E. Shahen & Wada Masaya & Koji Kotani & Tatsuyoshi Saijo, 2020. "Motivational Factors in Intergenerational Sustainability Dilemma: A Post-Interview Analysis," Sustainability, MDPI, vol. 12(17), pages 1-16, August.
    9. Deetlefs, A.M. Jeanette & Chalmers, Jenny & Tindall, Karen & Wiryakusuma-McLeod, Cindy & Bennett, Sue & Hay, Iain & Humphries, Jacqueline & Eady, Michelle J. & Cronin, Lynette & Rudd, Karl, 2021. "Applying behavioral insights to increase rural and remote internships: Results from two Randomized Controlled Trials," Journal of Behavioral and Experimental Economics (formerly The Journal of Socio-Economics), Elsevier, vol. 92(C).
    10. repec:hal:spmain:info:hdl:2441/527ht1a96e837pq2dubgo2953q is not listed on IDEAS
    11. Sam Jones & Ricardo Santos, 2020. "Updating great expectations: The effect of peer salary information on own-earnings forecasts," WIDER Working Paper Series wp-2020-138, World Institute for Development Economic Research (UNU-WIDER).

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    More about this item

    Keywords

    Information asymmetries; Student financial aid; Merit-based scholarship; Role model; Field experiment;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • I22 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Education - - - Educational Finance; Financial Aid
    • I24 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Education - - - Education and Inequality
    • D83 - Microeconomics - - Information, Knowledge, and Uncertainty - - - Search; Learning; Information and Knowledge; Communication; Belief; Unawareness

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