Sep. 21, 2015

Castleman Examines Behavioral Insights to Improve College Access in New Book

Each year, many students fail to enroll in college, enroll in institutions where they are not positioned for success or drop out before earning a degree. These students often have the academic skills needed and have access to affordable college options, but still face barriers to success.

Efforts to address these challenges have included changes in financial aid policy, increased availability of information and enhanced academic support. A new book edited by Ben Castleman, Saul Schwartz and Sandy Baum argues that these strategies can be improved dramatically by taking account of contemporary research on how students make choices.

“The collected research in this volume shows that targeted, behaviorally-informed interventions offer policy makers a low-cost and scalable set of solutions to reduce long-standing inequalities in college access and success,” says Professor Castleman, who teaches education policy at the Curry School of Education and the Frank Batten School of Leadership and Public Policy.

In Decision Making for Student Success: Behavioral Insights to Improve College Access and Persistence, scholars from the fields of behavioral economics, education and public policy explore contemporary research on decision-making and highlight behavioral insights that can improve postsecondary access and success. The book aims to provide scholars, researchers and higher education administrators with new perspectives and low-cost strategies for improving outcomes of underserved populations.

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