Experimental Evidence on Which Academic Outcomes Nudging Can Shift for First-Year College Students from High-FRL Schools

35 Pages Posted: 16 Jun 2021 Last revised: 8 Jul 2021

See all articles by Daniel Collier

Daniel Collier

University of Memphis

Dan Fitzpatrick

University of Michigan at Ann Arbor - College of Literature, Science & the Arts

Austin Nichols

The Urban Institute; Abt Associates

Date Written: June 7, 2021

Abstract

Administrators are increasingly focused on at-risk student performance/persistence. Informational campaigns to shift behavior are tempting, given widely-publicized successes by nudges regarding college access. However, there is minimal evidence on the effectiveness of nudges on college success. We provide results from a low-cost two-arm experimental-assignment nudging campaign for first-year students at a high-research university; showing persistence effects (12 percentage-point) for one treatment arm, and treatment estimates on cumulative GPA and credits earned that align in magnitude with the most-similar other intervention (Castleman & Meyer, 2020). Our work can inform the design of future nudging interventions for college performance and persistence.

Keywords: nudging, persistence, first-year, postsecondary success, food security

JEL Classification: I23

Suggested Citation

Collier, Daniel and Fitzpatrick, Dan and Nichols, Austin and Nichols, Austin, Experimental Evidence on Which Academic Outcomes Nudging Can Shift for First-Year College Students from High-FRL Schools (June 7, 2021). Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3861367 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.3861367

Daniel Collier (Contact Author)

University of Memphis ( email )

Memphis, TN 38152
Memphis, TN usa 38152-3370
United States

Dan Fitzpatrick

University of Michigan at Ann Arbor - College of Literature, Science & the Arts ( email )

Ann Arbor, MI
United States

Austin Nichols

The Urban Institute

Abt Associates ( email )

MD 20814
United States

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