Freshman year financial aid nudges: An experiment to increase FAFSA renewal and college persistence Mar 31, 2016 By Benjamin CastlemanLindsay C. Page Freshman year financial aid nudges: An experiment to increase FAFSA renewal and college persistence Freshman year financial aid nudges: An experiment to increase FAFSA renewal and college persistence In this paper we investigate, through a randomized controlled trial design, the impact of a personalized text messaging intervention designed to encourage college freshmen to refile their Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) and maintain their financial aid for sophomore year. The intervention produced large and positive effects among freshmen at community colleges where text recipients were almost 14 percentage points more likely to remain continuously enrolled through the Spring of sophomore year. By contrast, the intervention did not improve sophomore year persistence among freshmen at four-year institutions among whom the rate of persistence was already high. The Journal of Human Resources Benjamin Castleman Ben Castleman is an Associate Professor of Education and Public Policy at the University of Virginia. Read full bio Lindsay C. Page Related Content Benjamin Castleman Here Today, Gone Tomorrow? Investigating Rates and Patterns of Financial Aid Renewal Among College Freshmen Research College affordability continues to be a top concern among prospective students, their families, and policy makers. Prior work has demonstrated that a significant share of prospective students forgo financial aid because they did not complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA); recent federal policy efforts have focused on supporting students and their families to successfully file the FAFSA. Intensive College Counseling and the Enrollment and Persistence of Low Income Students Research Though counseling is one commonly pursued intervention to improve college enrollment and completion for disadvantaged students, there is relatively little causal evidence on its efficacy. We use a regression discontinuity design to study the impact of intensive college counseling provided to college-seeking, low income students by a Massachusetts program that admits applicants partly on the basis of a minimum GPA requirement. From Information to Action: Meeting Virginia’s Critical Workforce Needs During COVID-19 News During the most recent Batten Expert Chat, a Batten professor and a graduate of the School’s MPP program shared how they’re using data science to help address the Commonwealth’s shortage in healthcare professionals. Batten's Castleman One of Three UVA Faculty to be Honored by White House for Early Career Accomplishments News The Presidential Early Career Award for Scientists and Engineers is the highest honor given by the U.S. government to scientists and engineers at the beginning of their research careers.