Single Study Review (findings for Bottom Line)
Meets WWC standards without reservations
because it is a randomized controlled trial with low attrition.
This review may not reflect the full body of research evidence for this intervention.
Characteristics of study sample as reported by study author.
| Not Hispanic
Massachusetts, New York
The study was conducted with two cohorts of high school students (graduating classes of 2015 and 2016) in Boston and Worcester, MA, and New York City. Students who received the intervention were encouraged to attend a Bottom Line Counseling target college where they could continue the program; approximately 50 percent of students in the intervention group did so. There are about 30 of these target colleges and they are described in the study as ones that offer an optimal combination of quality and affordability. These institutions operate within the geographic region; examples include Boston University, the State University of New York at Albany, and target campuses in the City University of New York and University of Massachusetts systems.
The high school students in the sample are from families that make less than 200 percent of the federal poverty guidelines. Program eligibility required that students have earned at least a 2.5 GPA. In terms of demographic information, about 80% of the sample were first generation college students; approximately 70% were female, 33% Black, 32% Hispanic, and 23% were Asian.
The Bottom Line (BL) college advising model provides two programs: BL Access for high school juniors and seniors, and BL Success, which provides advising for students who attend a target college. The study followed students randomly assigned to the BL Access program as they transitioned to the BL Success program. Advising is offered through counselors, who interacted with students during high school an average of 13 times during the 15-month period in which the intervention was delivered. The BL Access services started in May of high school junior year and proceed through August after graduation. Most meetings involved working on college applications or financial aid. After high school graduation, students who chose to attend a BL-target institution were matched to a new advisor at their college. They continued to receive advising through BL Success. Overall, BL advising entailed 10-15 hours of contact time between counselors and students.
Students in the comparison group had access to existing college advising support services. The study surveyed Cohort 1 comparison students and found that most respondents applied for college and financial aid.
Support for implementation
Bottom Line is a 501(c)(3) privately funded organization that serves low income and first-generation students. Advisors spend their first year learning the organization's curriculum, building relationships with students and staff, serving their caseload, and mastering advisor competencies. Returning advisors take on additional responsibilities. The organization currently serves students in Boston, New York City, Worcester, MA and Chicago, IL.
For more information, see Bottom Line's website: https://www.bottomline.org/what-we-do