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The Effects of Student Coaching in College: An Evaluation of a Randomized Experiment in Student Mentoring

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  • Eric Bettinger
  • Rachel Baker

Abstract

College completion and college success often lag behind college attendance. One theory as to why students do not succeed in college is that they lack key information about how to be successful or fail to act on the information that they have. We present evidence from a randomized experiment which tests the effectiveness of individualized student coaching. Over the course of two separate school years, InsideTrack, a student coaching service, provided coaching to students from public, private, and proprietary universities. Most of the participating students were non-traditional college students enrolled in degree programs. The participating universities and InsideTrack randomly assigned students to be coached. The coach contacted students regularly to develop a clear vision of their goals, to guide them in connecting their daily activities to their long term goals, and to support them in building skills, including time management, self advocacy, and study skills. Students who were randomly assigned to a coach were more likely to persist during the treatment period, and were more likely to be attending the university one year after the coaching had ended. Coaching also proved a more cost-effective method of achieving retention and completion gains when compared to previously studied interventions such as increased financial aid.

Suggested Citation

  • Eric Bettinger & Rachel Baker, 2011. "The Effects of Student Coaching in College: An Evaluation of a Randomized Experiment in Student Mentoring," NBER Working Papers 16881, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  • Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:16881
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    Cited by:

    1. Kumara, Ajantha Sisira, 2015. "Wage Differentials in Sri Lanka: The case of a post-conflict country with a free education policy," MPRA Paper 68068, University Library of Munich, Germany, revised 25 Nov 2015.
    2. repec:eee:ecoedu:v:60:y:2017:i:c:p:36-53 is not listed on IDEAS
    3. Raj Chande & Michael Luca & Michael Sanders & Zhi Soon & Oana Borcan & Netta Barak-Corren & Elizabeth Linos & Elspeth Kirkman, 2015. "Curbing adult student attrition. Evidence from a field experiment," The Centre for Market and Public Organisation 15/335, Department of Economics, University of Bristol, UK.
    4. David J. Deming & Christopher R. Walters, 2017. "The Impact of Price Caps and Spending Cuts on U.S. Postsecondary Attainment," NBER Working Papers 23736, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    5. Raj Chande & Michael Luca & Michael Sanders & Xian-Zhi Soon & Oana Borcan & Netta Barak Corren & Elizabeth Linos & Elspeth Kirkman & Sean Robinson, 2015. "Curbing Adult Student Attrition: Evidence from a Field Experiment," Harvard Business School Working Papers 15-065, Harvard Business School.
    6. repec:bri:cmpowp:13/335 is not listed on IDEAS
    7. Jordi Brandts & Valeska Groenert & Christina Rott, 2012. "The Impact of Advice on Women's and Men's Selection into Competition," Working Papers 663, Barcelona Graduate School of Economics.
    8. Sandner, Malte, 2013. "Quasi-Experimental Evaluation of a Student Mentoring Program," Hannover Economic Papers (HEP) dp-512, Leibniz Universität Hannover, Wirtschaftswissenschaftliche Fakultät.
    9. Jordi Brandts & Valeska Groener & Christina Rott, 2012. "The impact of advice on women's and men's selection into competition," UFAE and IAE Working Papers 912.12, Unitat de Fonaments de l'Anàlisi Econòmica (UAB) and Institut d'Anàlisi Econòmica (CSIC).
    10. Philip Oreopoulos & Robert S. Brown & Adam M. Lavecchia, 2017. "Pathways to Education: An Integrated Approach to Helping At-Risk High School Students," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 125(4), pages 947-984.
    11. Simone Balestra & Uschi Backes-Gellner, 2013. "Heterogeneous Returns to Education Over Wage Distribution: Who Profits the Most?," Economics of Education Working Paper Series 0091, University of Zurich, Department of Business Administration (IBW), revised Dec 2013.
    12. repec:bri:cmpowp:14/335 is not listed on IDEAS

    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • I21 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Education - - - Analysis of Education

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