WWC review of this study

Summer nudging: Can personalized text messages and peer mentor outreach increase college going among low-income high school graduates?

Castleman, B.L., & Page, L.C. (2015). Journal of Economic Behavior and Organization, 115, 144-160 Retrieved from: https://eric.ed.gov/?id=EJ1124459

  • Randomized Controlled Trial
     examining 
    6,196
     Students
    , grades
    12-PS
At least one statistically significant positive finding
Meets WWC standards without reservations

Reviewed: March 2018

Access and enrollment outcomes—Indeterminate effects found
Outcome
measure
Comparison Period Sample Intervention
mean
Comparison
mean
Significant? Improvement
    index
ESSA
rating

Enrollment in any college in fall semester after graduating

Summer Counseling vs. Business as usual

1 Month

Full sample: Peer Mentoring Intervention;
2,206 students

69.9

67.6

No

--
More Outcomes

Enrollment in any college in fall semester after graduating

Summer Counseling vs. Business as usual

1 Month

Full sample: Texting Intervention;
5,059 students

71.5

69.6

No

--
Show Supplemental Findings

Enrollment in any college in fall semester after graduating

Summer Counseling vs. Business as usual

1 Month

Texting Intervention: Lawrence & Springfield;
746 students

69.9

62.8

Yes

 
 
8

Enrollment in any college in fall semester after graduating

Summer Counseling vs. Business as usual

1 Month

Peer Mentoring Intervention: Boston;
1,146 students

73.6

70.1

No

--

Enrollment in any college in fall semester after graduating

Summer Counseling vs. Business as usual

1 Month

Peer Mentoring Intervention: Lawrence & Springfield;
617 students

66.4

62.8

No

--

Enrollment in any 2-year college (%)

Summer Counseling vs. Business as usual

1 Month

Full sample: Texting Intervention;
5,059 students

23

20

Yes

 
 
4

Enrollment in any 4-year college (%)

Summer Counseling vs. Business as usual

1 Month

Full sample: Peer Mentoring Intervention;
2,206 students

43.3

38.8

No

--

Enrollment in any college in fall semester after graduating

Summer Counseling vs. Business as usual

1 Month

Texting Intervention: Dallas;
2,920 students

74.2

71.8

No

--

Enrollment in any 2-year college (%)

Summer Counseling vs. Business as usual

1 Month

Full sample: Peer Mentoring Intervention;
2,206 students

13.8

14.2

No

--

Enrollment in any college in fall semester after graduating

Summer Counseling vs. Business as usual

1 Month

Texting Intervention: Boston;
1,393 students

68.5

70.1

No

--

Enrollment in any 4-year college (%)

Summer Counseling vs. Business as usual

1 Month

Full sample: Texting Intervention;
5,059 students

37

39

No

--

Enrollment in any college in fall semester after graduating

Summer Counseling vs. Business as usual

1 Month

Peer Mentoring Intervention: Philadelphia;
443 students

65.2

67.5

No

--

Characteristics of study sample as reported by study author.


  • 0% English language learners

  • 78% Free or reduced price lunch

  • Female: 58%
    Male: 42%
  • Race
    Black
    37%
    White
    8%
  • Ethnicity
    Hispanic
    46%
    Not Hispanic
    54%

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    Massachusetts, Pennsylvania, Texas

Setting

This study examined two summer counseling interventions across five different research sites in Massachusetts (Boston, Lawrence, and Springfield), Pennsylvania (Philadelphia), and Texas (Dallas).

Study sample

The Dallas, TX analytic sample was 56% female, 33% Black, 57% Hispanic, 8% White, and 1% Other race/ethnicity. Seventy-nine percent qualified for free/reduced priced lunch. The Boston, MA analytic sample was 60% female, 37% Black, 25% Hispanic, 7% White, and 30% Other race/ethnicity. Seventy-eight percent qualified for free/reduced priced lunch. The Lawrence, MA analytic sample was 63% female, 1% Black, 85% Hispanic, 1% White, and 13% Other race/ethnicity. 78 percent qualified for free/reduced priced lunch. The Springfield, MA analytic sample was 59% female, 31% Black, 36% Hispanic, 10% White, and 22% Other race/ethnicity. Seventy-eight percent qualified for free/reduced priced lunch. And finally, the Philadelphia, PA analytic sample was 56% female, 95% Black, and 2% Other race/ethnicity. Sixty-five percent qualified for free/reduced priced lunch.

Intervention Group

The automated text messaging campaign was implemented in Dallas, TX; Boston, MA; Lawrence, MA; and Springfield, MA. During the summer of 2012, students and their parents in the text messaging intervention were sent a series of 10 automated text messages to remind them about tasks required for college enrollment and to prompt them to request additional help when needed. The texts included reminders to access important paperwork online, register for orientation, register for placement tests, complete housing forms, sign up for/waive health insurance, and included offers to help students complete the FAFSA and interpret financial aid award letters and tuition bills. A text message was sent approximately every 5 days between early July and mid-August. In Dallas, the authors collaborated with the Dallas Independent School District to link students to one of nine college counselors to provide additional assistance. In Boston, Lawrence, and Springfield, the authors collaborated with a nonprofit organization, uAspire, to link students to financial aid advisors at participating high schools. The peer mentoring intervention was implemented in Boston, Lawrence, Springfield, and Philadelphia. Students in the peer mentoring intervention group received contacts from peer mentors who assessed their readiness to matriculate in college in the fall 2012 semester. Peer mentors discussed various topics with their mentees, including whether students were still planning to enroll in college, whether students had completed the FAFSA, whether students had received and reviewed financial aid letters, and whether students had registered for orientation and placement tests. Subsequent meetings and phone conversations served to address any other issues the students may have encountered. Counseling took place between mid-June and mid-August. In Boston, Lawrence, and Springfield, uAspire selected and trained the peer mentors who delivered the intervention. In Philadelphia, the authors collaborated with Mastery Charter Schools which supplied counselors from five high school campuses.

Comparison Group

The students in the comparison condition did not receive either of the interventions and conducted "business as usual".

Support for implementation

In the case of multiple manuscripts that report on one study, the WWC selects one manuscript as the primary citation and lists other manuscripts that describe the study as additional sources.

  • Castleman, B.L., & Page, L.C. (2013). The not-so-lazy days of summer: Experimental interventions to increase college entry among low-income high school graduates. New Directions for Youth Development, 140, 77-97.

  • Castleman, B. L. (2013). Assistance in the 11th hour: Experimental interventions to mitigate summer attrition among college-intending high school (Doctoral dissertation). Available from ProQuest Dissertations and Theses database. (UMI No. 3662580).

 

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