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Stay late or start early? Experimental evidence on the benefits of college matriculation support from high schools versus colleges

Benjamin L. Castleman, Laura Owen and Lindsay C. Page

Economics of Education Review, 2015, vol. 47, issue C, 168-179

Abstract: The summer melt and academic mismatch literatures have focused largely on college-ready, low-income students. Yet, a broader population of students may also benefit from additional support in formulating and realizing their college plans. We investigate the impact of a unique high school-university partnership to support college-intending students to follow through on their college plans. Specifically, we facilitated a collaborative effort between the Albuquerque Public Schools (APS) and the University of New Mexico (UNM), and randomly assigned 1602 APS graduates admitted to UNM across three experimental conditions: (1) outreach from an APS-based counselor; (2) outreach from a UNM-based counselor; or (3) the control group. Among Hispanic males, who are underrepresented at UNM compared to their APS graduating class, summer outreach improved timely postsecondary matriculation, with suggestive evidence that college-based outreach may be particularly effective. This finding is consistent with the social-psychological literature showing that increasing students’ sense of belonging at college can improve enrollment outcomes.

Keywords: College access; Summer melt; High school–university partnership; Randomized controlled trial (search for similar items in EconPapers)
JEL-codes: I21 I24 (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2015
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