WWC review of this study

How to encourage college summer enrollment: Final lessons from the EASE project

Anzelone, C., Weiss, M., & Headlam, C. (2020). MDRC Retrieved from: https://eric.ed.gov/?id=ED609309

  • Randomized Controlled Trial
     examining 
    10,668
     Students
    , grade
    PS

Reviewed: June 2021

At least one finding shows strong evidence of effectiveness
At least one statistically significant positive finding
Meets WWC standards without reservations
College degree attainment outcomes—Indeterminate effects found
Outcome
measure
Comparison Period Sample Intervention
mean
Comparison
mean
Significant? Improvement
    index
Evidence
tier

Received Certificate - Info + Tuition Group

Encouraging Additional Summer Enrollment (EASE) Project vs. Business as usual

1 Year

Full sample ;
7,103 students

5.60

5.00

No

--
More Outcomes

Received Certificate - Info Group

Encouraging Additional Summer Enrollment (EASE) Project vs. Business as usual

1 Year

Info Group vs. Control;
7,118 students

5.50

5.00

No

--

Received an Associate's degree - Info group

Encouraging Additional Summer Enrollment (EASE) Project vs. Business as usual

1 Year

Info Group vs. Control;
7,118 students

4.50

4.60

No

--

Received an Associate's degree - Info + Tuition group

Encouraging Additional Summer Enrollment (EASE) Project vs. Business as usual

1 Year

Full sample ;
7,103 students

4.30

4.60

No

--
Show Supplemental Findings

Received Certificate - Info + Tuition Group

Encouraging Additional Summer Enrollment (EASE) Project vs. Business as usual

0 Days

Full sample;
7,103 students

1.10

0.70

Yes

 
 
11

Received Certificate - Info Group

Encouraging Additional Summer Enrollment (EASE) Project vs. Business as usual

0 Days

Info Group vs. Control;
7,118 students

0.80

0.70

No

--

Received Certificate - Info Group

Encouraging Additional Summer Enrollment (EASE) Project vs. Business as usual

2 Semesters

Info group vs. Control;
7,118 students

5.00

4.40

No

--

Received Certificate - Info + Tuition Group

Encouraging Additional Summer Enrollment (EASE) Project vs. Business as usual

2 Semesters

Full sample;
7,103 students

5.00

4.40

No

--

Received Certificate - Info Group

Encouraging Additional Summer Enrollment (EASE) Project vs. Business as usual

1 Semester

Info Group vs. Control;
7,118 students

2.70

2.60

No

--

Received an Associate's degree - Info group

Encouraging Additional Summer Enrollment (EASE) Project vs. Business as usual

0 Days

Info group vs. Control;
7,118 students

0.20

0.20

No

--

Received an Associate's degree - Info + Tuition group

Encouraging Additional Summer Enrollment (EASE) Project vs. Business as usual

0 Days

Full sample;
7,103 students

0.20

0.20

No

--

Received an Associate's degree - Info group

Encouraging Additional Summer Enrollment (EASE) Project vs. Business as usual

1 Semester

Info group vs. Control;
7,118 students

0.70

0.70

No

--

Received an Associate's degree - Info + Tuition group

Encouraging Additional Summer Enrollment (EASE) Project vs. Business as usual

1 Semester

Full sample;
7,103 students

0.70

0.70

No

--

Received an Associate's degree - Info group

Encouraging Additional Summer Enrollment (EASE) Project vs. Business as usual

2 Semesters

Info group vs. Control;
7,118 students

3.60

3.60

No

--

Received an Associate's degree - Info + Tuition group

Encouraging Additional Summer Enrollment (EASE) Project vs. Business as usual

2 Semesters

Full sample;
7,103 students

3.50

3.60

No

--
Progressing in college outcomes—Statistically significant positive effects found
Outcome
measure
Comparison Period Sample Intervention
mean
Comparison
mean
Significant? Improvement
    index
Evidence
tier

Percentage enrolled in any college course - Info + Tuition group

Encouraging Additional Summer Enrollment (EASE) Project vs. Business as usual

0 Days

Full sample ;
7,103 students

38.40

26.20

Yes

 
 
13
 
More Outcomes

Percentage enrolled in any college course - Info group

Encouraging Additional Summer Enrollment (EASE) Project vs. Business as usual

0 Days

Info group vs. Control;
7,118 students

31.50

26.20

Yes

 
 
6
 

College-level credits earned - Info + Tuition group

Encouraging Additional Summer Enrollment (EASE) Project vs. Business as usual

0 Days

Full sample;
7,103 students

1.63

1.17

Yes

 
 
6
 

College-level credits earned - Info group

Encouraging Additional Summer Enrollment (EASE) Project vs. Business as usual

0 Days

Info group vs. Control;
7,118 students

1.36

1.17

Yes

 
 
3
 
Show Supplemental Findings

Percentage enrolled in any college course - Info + Tuition group

Encouraging Additional Summer Enrollment (EASE) Project vs. Business as usual

0 Days

Hispanic or Latino - Info + Tuition group vs. Control;
325 students

38.50

25.20

Yes

 
 
15

Passed a college course or more - Info + Tuition group

Encouraging Additional Summer Enrollment (EASE) Project vs. Business as usual

0 Days

Full sample;
7,103 students

31.90

21.90

Yes

 
 
12

Percentage enrolled in any college course - Info group

Encouraging Additional Summer Enrollment (EASE) Project vs. Business as usual

0 Days

Hispanic or Latino - Info group vs. Control;
322 students

35.50

25.20

No

--

Percentage enrolled in any college course - Info + Tuition group

Encouraging Additional Summer Enrollment (EASE) Project vs. Business as usual

0 Days

Black - Info + Tuition group vs. Control;
1,826 students

34.40

26.20

Yes

 
 
9

Percentage enrolled in any college course - Info group

Encouraging Additional Summer Enrollment (EASE) Project vs. Business as usual

0 Days

Black - Info group vs. Control;
1,838 students

31.40

26.20

Yes

 
 
6

Passed a college course or more - Info group

Encouraging Additional Summer Enrollment (EASE) Project vs. Business as usual

0 Days

Info group vs. Control;
7,118 students

25.80

21.90

Yes

 
 
5

Percentage enrolled in any college course - Info + Tuition group

Encouraging Additional Summer Enrollment (EASE) Project vs. Business as usual

1 Year

Full sample - Info + Tuition group vs. Control;
7,103 students

19.80

16.80

Yes

 
 
5

Cumulative college-level credits earned - Info + Tuition Group

Encouraging Additional Summer Enrollment (EASE) Project vs. Business as usual

1 Semester

Full sample;
7,103 students

5.49

5.07

Yes

 
 
3

Percentage enrolled in any college course - Info group

Encouraging Additional Summer Enrollment (EASE) Project vs. Business as usual

1 Year

Info group vs. Control;
7,118 students

18.20

16.80

No

--

College-level credits earned - Info + Tuition group

Encouraging Additional Summer Enrollment (EASE) Project vs. Business as usual

1 Year

Full sample;
7,103 students

0.93

0.83

No

--

Percentage enrolled in any college course - Info + Tuition group

Encouraging Additional Summer Enrollment (EASE) Project vs. Business as usual

1 Semester

Full sample;
7,103 students

55.40

54.70

No

--

Percentage enrolled in any college course - Info group

Encouraging Additional Summer Enrollment (EASE) Project vs. Business as usual

2 Semesters

Info group vs. Control;
7,118 students

46.10

45.00

No

--

Percentage enrolled in any college course - Info + Tuition group

Encouraging Additional Summer Enrollment (EASE) Project vs. Business as usual

2 Semesters

Full sample - Info + Tuition group vs. Control;
7,103 students

45.70

45.00

No

--

Cumulative college-level credits earned - Info Group

Encouraging Additional Summer Enrollment (EASE) Project vs. Business as usual

1 Semester

Info group vs. Control;
7,118 students

5.23

5.07

No

--

Cumulative college-level credits earned - Info + Tuition Group

Encouraging Additional Summer Enrollment (EASE) Project vs. Business as usual

2 Semesters

Full sample;
7,103 students

8.75

8.44

No

--

College-level credits earned - Info group

Encouraging Additional Summer Enrollment (EASE) Project vs. Business as usual

1 Year

Info group vs. Control;
7,118 students

0.90

0.83

No

--

Cumulative college-level credits earned - Info Group

Encouraging Additional Summer Enrollment (EASE) Project vs. Business as usual

1 Year

Info group vs. Control;
7,118 students

9.39

9.24

No

--

Cumulative college-level credits earned - Info + Tuition Group

Encouraging Additional Summer Enrollment (EASE) Project vs. Business as usual

1 Year

Full sample;
7,103 students

9.65

9.24

No

--

Percentage enrolled in any college course - Info group

Encouraging Additional Summer Enrollment (EASE) Project vs. Business as usual

1 Semester

Info group vs. Control;
7,118 students

54.80

54.70

No

--

College-level credits earned - Info group

Encouraging Additional Summer Enrollment (EASE) Project vs. Business as usual

1 Semester

Info group vs. Control;
7,118 students

3.88

3.92

No

--

College-level credits earned - Info + Tuition group

Encouraging Additional Summer Enrollment (EASE) Project vs. Business as usual

1 Semester

Full sample;
7,103 students

3.87

3.92

No

--

Cumulative college-level credits earned - Info Group

Encouraging Additional Summer Enrollment (EASE) Project vs. Business as usual

2 Semesters

Info group vs. Control;
7,118 students

8.53

8.44

No

--

College-level credits earned - Info group

Encouraging Additional Summer Enrollment (EASE) Project vs. Business as usual

2 Semesters

Info group vs. Control;
7,118 students

3.37

3.41

No

--

College-level credits earned - Info + Tuition group

Encouraging Additional Summer Enrollment (EASE) Project vs. Business as usual

2 Semesters

Full sample;
7,103 students

3.32

3.41

No

--

Characteristics of study sample as reported by study author.

  • Race
    Black
    26%
    Not specified
    19%
    White
    55%
  • Ethnicity
    Hispanic
    5%
    Not Hispanic
    96%

  • Rural, Suburban, Urban
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    Ohio

Setting

The study was conducted in a diverse set of 10 community colleges in Ohio, with a sample drawn from all degree-seeking, first-year, Pell-eligible students at these colleges.

Study sample

All degree-seeking, first-year, Pell-eligible students at 10 different community colleges in Ohio were randomly assigned to one of three groups: (1) an informational campaign group ("Info Group") in which received messages that incorporated principles from behavioral science (tailored to their funding situation, testimonials from other students); (2) a "last dollar" tuition assistance group ("Info + Tuition Group") in which students were offered the treatment of the informational campaign group, plus gap tuition through the Summer Scholar Grant program to cover summer tuition and fees and financial aid; and, (3) a business-as-usual comparison group, where students received messages that the college sent to promote summer enrollment and financial aid. Four colleges participated in the first cohort (2017), and ten (including the initial four) participated in the second cohort (2018). The 2017 cohort included 3,689 students and the 2018 cohort included 6,979 students for a total of 10,668 students: 3,565 students were assigned to the Info Group, 3,550 students were assigned to the Info + Tuition Group, and 3,553 students were assigned to the comparison group. All participating students were eligible for federal Pell Grants. Fifty-five percent of students were White, 26 percent were Black, and 19 percent Asian, Native American or belonged to another racial group. About five percent of students were Hispanic.

Intervention Group

Both the Info Group and Info + Tuition Group interventions were aimed at encouraging students to enroll in summer courses. With the Info Group, researchers sent students personalized funding information about how they could pay for summer courses, some testimonials from other students about the benefits of taking summer courses, some prompts about planning (including registration and course selection tips), and information about deadlines. With the Info + Tuition Group (also called the Summer Scholar Grant program), researchers provided the same information messaging but also offered funding to cover the difference between the financial aid students were receiving (Pell Grant plus Ohio College Opportunity Grant funds) and the summer tuition and fees, essentially bridging the gap in funding.

Comparison Group

The students in the comparison group received the messages that the colleges were already sending, including messages encouraging summer enrollment and information about standard financial aid.

 

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