This study examined two summer counseling interventions across five different research sites in Massachusetts (Boston, Lawrence, and Springfield), Pennsylvania (Philadelphia), and Texas (Dallas).
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.
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.
The students in the comparison condition did not receive either of the interventions and conducted "business as usual".
Support for implementation