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Investing in Schooling In Chile: The Role of Information about Financial Aid for Higher Education
Last registered on April 22, 2016

Pre-Trial

Trial Information
General Information
Title
Investing in Schooling In Chile: The Role of Information about Financial Aid for Higher Education
RCT ID
AEARCTR-0001059
Initial registration date
April 22, 2016
Last updated
April 22, 2016 3:25 PM EDT
Location(s)
Region
Primary Investigator
Affiliation
Dartmouth College
Other Primary Investigator(s)
PI Affiliation
Pontificia Universidad Católica de Chile
Additional Trial Information
Status
Completed
Start date
2009-07-15
End date
2009-12-31
Secondary IDs
Abstract
We investigate the impacts of providing low-income Chilean adolescents with information about how to finance higher education and ask whether providing parents with the same information magnifies the effects on schooling outcomes. We randomly assigned eighth graders and some parents to receive information about aid for higher education. Exposure to information raised college preparatory high school enrollment, primary school attendance, and financial aid knowledge, with gains concentrated among medium- and high-grade students. Parental exposure to information did not significantly magnify these effects. Our results demonstrate that access to relevant information about financial aid affects important schooling choices long before tertiary education begins.
External Link(s)
Registration Citation
Citation
Dinkelman, Taryn and Claudia Martínez. 2016. "Investing in Schooling In Chile: The Role of Information about Financial Aid for Higher Education." AEA RCT Registry. April 22. https://doi.org/10.1257/rct.1059-1.0.
Former Citation
Dinkelman, Taryn and Claudia Martínez. 2016. "Investing in Schooling In Chile: The Role of Information about Financial Aid for Higher Education." AEA RCT Registry. April 22. https://www.socialscienceregistry.org/trials/1059/history/7899.
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Experimental Details
Interventions
Intervention(s)
Researchers created a fifteen-minute video featuring the stories of adults who grew up in poor families in urban Chile and who successfully completed postsecondary studies with financial aid. As the adults describe how they funded their studies at universities or at vocational schools, the video provides detailed information about how different financial aid options work, the academic requirements for each option, and the timelines to apply. To determine the effect of exposure to the video and of informing parents about financial aid, the researchers randomly assigned 226 schools to one of three groups:
1) Student group: students were shown the video in the classroom
2) Family group: students were given a DVD copy of the video and were
encouraged to watch it at home with their parents
3) Comparison group: no information given
Intervention Start Date
2009-09-01
Intervention End Date
2009-12-31
Primary Outcomes
Primary Outcomes (end points)
- Student financial aid knowledge and expectations at follow-up
- Student educational expectations
- Student absenteeism
- Student effort and performance (measured through grades)
- Student enrollment in a college-preparatory high school
Primary Outcomes (explanation)
Secondary Outcomes
Secondary Outcomes (end points)
Secondary Outcomes (explanation)
Experimental Design
Experimental Design
The evaluation focused on eighth-grade students in the poorest 40 percent of schools in the Metropolitan Region of Chile, which includes the capital city of Santiago. The intervention targeted eighth graders because most students in Chile have to choose between attending a college-preparatory school or a vocational high school at that point. In this study, 75 percent of students attended schools that ended in eighth grade, while the rest could either continue studying at the same school or switch to another one. In principle, the information about the admissions process and financial aid options could enable students to make informed decisions about what high school to attend and could also motivate them to invest in their schooling throughout their high school career. The researchers used administrative data as well as surveys measuring knowledge of financial aid options and students’ academic effort and preferences.
Experimental Design Details
Randomization Method
Randomization done in office by a computer.
Randomization Unit
School-level randomization; treatment was randomized at the school level to avoid information spillovers at the grade-level.
Was the treatment clustered?
Yes
Experiment Characteristics
Sample size: planned number of clusters
226 low-income schools

Sample size: planned number of observations
6,233 eighth-grade students in 226 low-income schools
Sample size (or number of clusters) by treatment arms
56 schools were randomly assigned to the Student information treatment (group A), 56 schools to the Family information treatment (group B),
and the remaining 114 schools to the control group; 3,054 students in all treatment groups (with 1,536 students in group A and 1,518 students in group B) and 3,179 students in control group
Minimum detectable effect size for main outcomes (accounting for sample design and clustering)
Minimum detectable effect size is minimum difference in Student-Family treatment effects that we can detect given our sample size, number of clusters, a power of 0.8 and the intra-cluster correlation in the specific outcome variable at baseline. The sample allows us to obtain a power of 80%, with a significance level of 5%, a minimum detectable effect size of 0.2 standard deviation, intracluster correlation of 0.27, cluster size of 30 and an R2 of 0.26-0.29.
IRB
INSTITUTIONAL REVIEW BOARDS (IRBs)
IRB Name
Institutional Review Board for Human Subjects at Princeton University
IRB Approval Date
2009-04-15
IRB Approval Number
4366
IRB Name
Dartmouth College Center for the Protection of Human Subjects
IRB Approval Date
2012-06-22
IRB Approval Number
Expedited review 23486
Post-Trial
Post Trial Information
Study Withdrawal
Intervention
Is the intervention completed?
Yes
Intervention Completion Date
December 31, 2009, 12:00 AM +00:00
Is data collection complete?
Yes
Data Collection Completion Date
December 31, 2009, 12:00 AM +00:00
Final Sample Size: Number of Clusters (Unit of Randomization)
225 schools
Was attrition correlated with treatment status?
No
Final Sample Size: Total Number of Observations
5,009 students
Final Sample Size (or Number of Clusters) by Treatment Arms
56 schools were randomly assigned to the Student information treatment (group A), 55 schools to the Family information treatment (group B), and the remaining 114 schools to the control group; 2,449 students in treatment groups total (with 1,254 students in group A and 1,195 students in group B) and 2,560 students in control group
Data Publication
Data Publication
Is public data available?
No

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Program Files
Program Files
No
Reports and Papers
Preliminary Reports
Relevant Papers
Abstract
We investigate the impacts of providing low-income Chilean adolescents with information about how to finance higher education and ask whether providing parents with the same information magnifies the effects on schooling outcomes. We randomly assigned eighth graders and some parents to receive information about aid for higher education. Exposure to information raised college preparatory high school enrollment, primary school attendance, and financial aid knowledge, with gains concentrated among medium- and high-grade students. Parental exposure to information did not significantly magnify these effects. Our results demonstrate that access to relevant information about financial aid affects important schooling choices long before tertiary education begins.
Citation
Dinkelman, Taryn, and Claudia Martinez. 2014. "Investing in Schooling in Chile: The Role of Information About Financial Aid for Higher Education." The Review of Economics and Statistics 96(2): 244-257.