Informing Students about College: An Efficient Way to Decrease the Socio-Economic Gap in Enrollment: Evidence from a Randomized Field Experiment

Frauke Peter, C. Katharina Spiess, Vaishali Zambre
2018 Social Science Research Network  
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more » ... von diesen Nutzungsbedingungen die in der dort genannten Lizenz gewährten Nutzungsrechte. Abstract Although the proportion of students enrolled in college increased in the last decades, students from non-college family backgrounds remain underrepresented in higher education around the world. This study sheds light on whether the provision of information in a randomized controlled trial with more than 1,000 German high school students results in higher college enrollment rates. One year prior to high school graduation, we treated students in randomly selected schools by giving an in-class presentation on the benefits and costs of higher education as well as on possible funding options for college education. We collected data from students prior to the information intervention and followed them for four consecutive years. We find evidence that an information intervention increases students' application as well as their enrollment rates, in particular for students from non-college backgrounds with enrollment intentions prior to treatment. Moreover, treated students persist in college at a similar rate as students in the control group, i.e. they are not more likely to drop out of college. Our results indicate that a low-cost information intervention is an efficient tool to encourage students to translate their college intentions into actual enrollment. . Last, but not least, we are very grateful to Johanna Storck, who worked with us at the DIW Berlin on the Best Up project. Without her energy and commitment, school recruitment would not have been possible. We gratefully acknowledge funding from the Einstein Foundation Berlin (A-2010-025 (FU)) and we thankfully acknowledge financial support from the German Science Foundation (DFG) with which we were able to conduct another wave of the Berliner-Studienberechtigten-Panel as part of another project of the DIW Berlin (SP 1091/2-1). The usual disclaimer applies.
doi:10.2139/ssrn.3287800 fatcat:s6pmkdyndbeylavfynq4p3dapy