An Evaluation of the Educational Impact of College Campus Visits: A Randomized Experiment

48 Pages Posted: 6 Feb 2019

See all articles by Elise Swanson

Elise Swanson

University of Arkansas - Department of Education Reform

Katherine Kopotic

University of Arkansas - Department of Education Reform

Gema Zamarro

University of Arkansas - Department of Education Reform; Center for Economic and Social Research (CESR)

Jonathan Mills

University of Arkansas - Department of Education Reform

Jay Greene

University of Arkansas - Department of Education Reform

Gary Ritter

Saint Louis University School of Education

Date Written: February 5, 2019

Abstract

We hypothesize that a lack of experience with college poses a non-trivial barrier to college access for historically underrepresented students. We study whether visits to a college campus during the eighth grade can reduce these psychological barriers to college access. Using an experimental design, we study whether college visits affect students’ knowledge about college, postsecondary intentions, college-going behaviors, academic engagement, and ninth grade course enrollment decisions. We recruited 885 students across 15 schools who participated in our project during the academic year 2017-2018. We randomized students within schools to either a treatment or control condition. Students in the control condition receive an information packet about college. Students in the treatment condition receive the same information and visit a flagship university three times during their 8th-grade academic year. Students assigned to participate in these campus visits demonstrate higher levels of knowledge about college, higher levels of effort while completing the survey, a higher likelihood of having conversations with school personnel about college, and a decreased desire to attend technical school. Additionally, treated students are more likely to enroll in advanced math and science/social science courses in 9th grade.

Keywords: college access, randomized experiment, campus visits, psychological barriers

JEL Classification: I20, I23, J15

Suggested Citation

Swanson, Elise and Kopotic, Katherine and Zamarro, Gema and Mills, Jonathan and Greene, Jay and Ritter, Gary, An Evaluation of the Educational Impact of College Campus Visits: A Randomized Experiment (February 5, 2019). EDRE Working Paper No. 2019-002. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3329946 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.3329946

Elise Swanson (Contact Author)

University of Arkansas - Department of Education Reform ( email )

201 Graduate Education Building
Fayetteville, AR 72701
United States

Katherine Kopotic

University of Arkansas - Department of Education Reform ( email )

201 Graduate Education Building
Fayetteville, AR 72701
United States

Gema Zamarro

University of Arkansas - Department of Education Reform ( email )

201 Graduate Education Building
Fayetteville, AR 72701
United States

Center for Economic and Social Research (CESR) ( email )

635 Downey Way
Los Angeles, CA 90089-3332
United States

HOME PAGE: http://works.bepress.com/gema_zamarro/

Jonathan Mills

University of Arkansas - Department of Education Reform ( email )

201 Graduate Education Building
Fayetteville, AR 72701
United States

Jay Greene

University of Arkansas - Department of Education Reform ( email )

201 Graduate Education Building
Fayetteville, AR 72701
United States

Gary Ritter

Saint Louis University School of Education ( email )

220 North Grand Boulevard
St. Louis, MO 63103
United States
314-977-3290 (Phone)

HOME PAGE: http://https://www.slu.edu/education/faculty/gary-ritter.php

Register to save articles to
your library

Register

Paper statistics

Downloads
134
Abstract Views
1,352
rank
214,196
PlumX Metrics