Customized Nudging to Improve FAFSA Completion and Income Verification

41 Pages Posted: 19 Oct 2016 Last revised: 5 Aug 2017

Lindsay C. Page

University of Pittsburgh School of Education

Benjamin Castleman

University of Virginia

Katharine Meyer

University of Virginia

Date Written: August 4, 2017

Abstract

Informational and behavioral barriers hinder social benefit take-up. We investigate the impact of mitigating these barriers by providing personalized information on benefits application status and minimizing barriers to receiving application assistance on whether high school seniors complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA), the gateway to college financial aid. With eight school districts in Texas and statewide in Delaware, we assess the impact of this outreach using experimental and quasi-experimental studies, respectively. This low-cost, data-driven strategy improves FAFSA completion and college matriculation and potentially reduces the negative consequences of additional procedural hurdles such as FAFSA income verification.

Keywords: FAFSA, Financial Aid, College Access

JEL Classification: I22, I23

Suggested Citation

Page, Lindsay C. and Castleman, Benjamin and Meyer, Katharine, Customized Nudging to Improve FAFSA Completion and Income Verification (August 4, 2017). Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2854345

Lindsay C. Page (Contact Author)

University of Pittsburgh School of Education ( email )

Pittsburgh, PA 15260
United States
412-648-7166 (Phone)

Benjamin Castleman

University of Virginia ( email )

1400 University Ave
Charlottesville, VA 22903
United States

Katharine Meyer

University of Virginia ( email )

1400 University Ave
Charlottesville, VA 22903
United States

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