Expanding College Opportunities for High-Achieving, Low Income College Students

Expanding College Opportunities for High-Achieving, Low Income College Students, a study from Stanford Institute for Economic Policy Research (SIEPR), examined the effect of interventions on the college application and enrollment choices of high-achieving, low income students. The study randomly assigned four interventions, a control group, and a comprehensive three-piece intervention to students in their final year of high school.

The Expanding College Opportunities (ECO) interventions aimed to provide students with information and access to college application resources. Specifically, the four interventions focused on Application Guidance, Net Cost, Fee Waiver, and Parent Involvement. The ECO-Comprehensive Intervention combined three of the four interventions, excluding only Parent Involvement, which was already a blend the Application Guidance and Net Cost interventions. The interventions cost about $6 per student and were delivered directly to the students, eliminating the need for students to be in a particular geographic location or have access to a counselor with time to work with them.

The study found that for high-achieving, low income students, the interventions increased the number of colleges to which the students applied and were admitted, as well as increased the percentage of students who enrolled in more selective schools with higher graduation rates and more generous resources.

The full report is available online, as well as a What Works Clearinghouse’s WWC Quick Review of the study.

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