Nudging at Scale: Experimental Evidence from FAFSA Completion Campaigns Aug 01, 2019 By Kelli A. BirdBenjamin CastlemanJeffrey T. DenningJoshua GoodmanCait LambertonKelly Ochs Rosinger Nudging at Scale: Experimental Evidence from FAFSA Completion Campaigns Do nudge interventions that have generated positive impacts at a local level maintain efficacy when scaled state or nationwide? What specific mechanisms explain the positive impacts of promising smaller-scale nudges? We investigate, through two randomized controlled trials, the impact of a national and state-level campaign to encourage students to apply for financial aid for college. The campaigns collectively reached over 800,000 students, with multiple treatment arms to investigate different potential mechanisms. We find no impacts on financial aid receipt or college enrollment overall or for any student subgroups. We find no evidence that different approaches to message framing, delivery, or timing, or access to one-on-one advising affected campaign efficacy. We discuss why nudge strategies that work locally may be hard to scale effectively. Link to Paper Areas of focus Education Kelli A. Bird Benjamin Castleman Ben Castleman is an associate professor of public policy and education at the Batten School and the founder and director of the Nudge4 Solutions Lab at UVA. His research focuses on policies to improve college access and success for low-income students. Several of his papers examine innovative strategies to deliver high-quality information about the college-going process to low-income students and their families, and to ease the process of students and families getting professional support when they need assistance Read full bio Jeffrey T. Denning Joshua Goodman Cait Lamberton Kelly Ochs Rosinger Related Content Benjamin Castleman Unfinished Business? Academic and Labor Market Profile of Adults With Substantial College Credits But No Degree Research Using data from the Virginia Community College System (VCCS), this case provides the first detailed profile on the academic, employment, and earnings trajectories of the SCND population and how these compare with VCCS graduates. The scholars show that the share of SCND students who are academically ready to re-enroll and would benefit from doing so may be substantially lower than policy makers anticipate. Stacking the Deck for Employment Success: Labor Market Returns to Stackable Credentials Research With rapid technological transformations to the labor market along with COVID-19 related economic disruptions, many working adults return to college to obtain additional training or credentials. Using a comparative individual fixed effects strategy and an administrative panel dataset of enrollment and employment in Virginia, we provide the first causal estimates of credential “stacking” among working adults. Peer Mentoring Improves College Success for Lower-Income Students News In a research update brief, Batten Associate Professor Ben Castleman and colleagues show a sustained positive effect of peer mentoring on college persistence for lower-income students. First Gen Students Are Missing from the Nation’s Top Colleges. Here’s How Virtual Advising Could Help News Batten School professor Ben Castleman spoke with USA Today about the benefits of virtual peer-to-peer advising for first-generation college students.