Pushing College Advising Forward: Experimental Evidence on Intensive Advising and College Success Nov 01, 2020 By Benjamin CastlemanDenise DeutschlanderGabrielle Lohner Pushing College Advising Forward: Experimental Evidence on Intensive Advising and College Success Growing experimental evidence demonstrates that low-touch informational, nudge, and virtual advising interventions are ineffective at improving postsecondary educational outcomes for economically-disadvantaged students at scale. Intensive in-person college advising programs are a considerably higher-touch and more resource intensive strategy; some programs provide students with dozen of hours of individualized assistance starting in high school and continuing through college, and can cost thousands of dollars per student served. Despite the magnitude of this investment, causal evidence on these programs' impact is quite limited, particularly for programs that serve Hispanic students, the fastest growing segment of U.S. college enrollees. We contribute new evidence on the impact of intensive college advising programs through a multi-cohort RCT of College Forward, which provides individualized advising from junior year of high school through college for a majority Hispanic student population in Texas. College Forward leads to a 7.5 percentage point increase in enrollment in college, driven entirely by increased enrollment at four-year universities. Students who receive College Forward advising are nearly 12 percentage points more likely to persist to their third year of college. While more costly and harder to scale than low-touch interventions, back of the envelope calculations suggest that the benefit from increased college graduation likely induced by the program outweighs operating costs in less than two years following college completion. Link to Paper Areas of focus Education UVA partners EdPolicyWorks: Center for Education Policy and Workforce Competitiveness Benjamin Castleman Ben Castleman is an associate professor of education and public policy 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 Denise Deutschlander Gabrielle Lohner Related Content Benjamin Castleman 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. Nudges Don’t Work When the Benefits Are Ambiguous: Evidence from a High-Stakes Education Program Research The Post-9/11 GI Bill allows service members to transfer generous education benefits to a dependent. We run a large scale experiment that encourages service members to consider the transfer option among a population that includes individuals for whom the transfer benefits are clear and individuals for whom the net-benefits are significantly more ambiguous. We find no impact of a one-time email about benefits transfer among service members for whom we predict considerable ambiguity in the action, but sizeable impacts among service members for whom education benefits transfer is far less ambiguous. Four Batten Professors Ranked as Nation’s Most Influential Education Scholars News Batten School professors Daphna Bassok, Ben Castleman, Sarah Turner and Jim Wyckoff were among 200 scholars nationwide to rank as highly influential in education policy, according to Education Week. How behavioral science could get people back into public libraries News What keeps someone from activating their library card or returning a book? Brooklyn Public Library worked with behavioral science experts including Batten professor Benjamin Castleman and alum Katharine Meyer (MPP '16) to find out.