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Digital messaging to improve college enrollment and success

Author

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  • Avery, Christopher
  • Castleman, Benjamin L.
  • Hurwitz, Michael
  • Long, Bridget Terry
  • Page, Lindsay C.

Abstract

We investigate the efficacy of text messaging campaigns to support students with key steps in the college search, application, selection and transition process with concurrent cluster randomized control trials. Collaborating with national non-profit organizations, we implemented text-message based outreach to students in the high school graduating class of 2016 in over 700 high schools that primarily serve low-income students. Collaborating with several Texas school districts, we implemented a school-based version of the intervention. In contrast to the national version which produced null and negative effects, the school-based intervention yielded positive and significant impacts on several college-going steps but still only yielded significant impacts on college enrollment and second-year persistence for certain subgroups.

Suggested Citation

  • Avery, Christopher & Castleman, Benjamin L. & Hurwitz, Michael & Long, Bridget Terry & Page, Lindsay C., 2021. "Digital messaging to improve college enrollment and success," Economics of Education Review, Elsevier, vol. 84(C).
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:ecoedu:v:84:y:2021:i:c:s0272775721000881
    DOI: 10.1016/j.econedurev.2021.102170
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    Cited by:

    1. Bird, Kelli A. & Castleman, Benjamin L. & Denning, Jeffrey T. & Goodman, Joshua & Lamberton, Cait & Rosinger, Kelly Ochs, 2021. "Nudging at scale: Experimental evidence from FAFSA completion campaigns," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 183(C), pages 105-128.
    2. Alina Martinez & Tamara Linkow & Hannah Miller & Amanda Parsad & Cristofer Price, "undated". "Study of College Transition Messaging in GEAR UP: Impacts on Enrolling and Staying in College," Mathematica Policy Research Reports c6113480c8134325ac685ddd9, Mathematica Policy Research.
    3. Benjamin L. Castleman & Francis X. Murphy & Richard W. Patterson & William L. Skimmyhorn, 2021. "Nudges Don't Work When the Benefits Are Ambiguous: Evidence from a High‐Stakes Education Program," Journal of Policy Analysis and Management, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 40(4), pages 1230-1248, September.
    4. Jabbari, Jason & Roll, Stephen & Bufe, Sam & McKay, Jessica, 2022. "“Take my word for it”: Group Texts and Testimonials Enhance State and Federal Student Aid Applications," Journal of Behavioral and Experimental Economics (formerly The Journal of Socio-Economics), Elsevier, vol. 98(C).
    5. Christa Deneault, 2023. "College Enrollment and Mandatory FAFSA Applications: Evidence from Louisiana," American Economic Journal: Economic Policy, American Economic Association, vol. 15(3), pages 465-494, August.
    6. Eric P. Bettinger & Benjamin L. Castleman & Alice Choe & Zachary Mabel, 2022. "Finishing the Last Lap: Experimental Evidence on Strategies to Increase Attainment for Students Near College Completion," Journal of Policy Analysis and Management, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 41(4), pages 1040-1059, September.
    7. Owen, Stephanie, 2023. "College major choice and beliefs about relative performance: An experimental intervention to understand gender gaps in STEM," Economics of Education Review, Elsevier, vol. 97(C).

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    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • I21 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Education - - - Analysis of Education
    • I22 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Education - - - Educational Finance; Financial Aid
    • I23 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Education - - - Higher Education; Research Institutions

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