How do DEI statements impact students?

Last registered on June 28, 2023


Trial Information

General Information

How do DEI statements impact students?
Initial registration date
June 28, 2023

Initial registration date is when the trial was registered.

It corresponds to when the registration was submitted to the Registry to be reviewed for publication.

First published
June 28, 2023, 5:13 PM EDT

First published corresponds to when the trial was first made public on the Registry after being reviewed.


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Primary Investigator

Michigan State University

Other Primary Investigator(s)

PI Affiliation
Michigan State University

Additional Trial Information

On going
Start date
End date
Secondary IDs
Prior work
This trial does not extend or rely on any prior RCTs.
We explore how DEI statements impact college students. We send 3,825 students an invitation to an academic success session in the week prior to their first semester of college classes. This is a crucial moment for identity formation, since students are entering a new environment, where they must form beliefs about social interactions on their own, away from their families for the first time. In the invitation, we randomize whether a DEI statement is included, as well as the content of the DEI statement. Weeks later, we follow up with a survey on identity, beliefs about academic performance, and peer interactions. We also link their information to their academic records to examine the impact of DEI statements on course choices, major declarations, and academic performance at the conclusion of the first academic year.
External Link(s)

Registration Citation

Chuan, Amanda and Andrew Johnson. 2023. "How do DEI statements impact students?." AEA RCT Registry. June 28.
Experimental Details


We will email students with an invitation to an academic success session prior to their first week of college. The email will contain a link to register for the academic success session. Emails will be randomized as to whether they have a DEI statement, as well as the type of DEI statement they have. We will test whether the email content influences a variety of student behaviors, including whether they click on the link to participate in the academic success session.
Intervention Start Date
Intervention End Date

Primary Outcomes

Primary Outcomes (end points)
whether click on link to register for academic success session (short-term outcome)
survey responses: attitudes about peers, attitudes about academics, peer interactions, social identity (15 weeks after intervention)
student record responses: courses chosen, grade per course, majors declared (after each semester)
Primary Outcomes (explanation)

Secondary Outcomes

Secondary Outcomes (end points)
Secondary Outcomes (explanation)

Experimental Design

Experimental Design
Across-subject experimental design

Our research partner provided a random third of the incoming freshman class for our intervention (N=3825). Of these,
-one-fourth will receive no DEI statement (control)
-one-fourth will receive a DEI statement mentioning gender differences
-one-fourth will receive a DEI statement mentioning race and ethnicity differences
-one-fourth will receive a DEI statement mentioning race, gender, and ethnicity differences
Experimental Design Details
Not available
Randomization Method
Randomization done in office by computer (Stata software)
Randomization Unit
Was the treatment clustered?

Experiment Characteristics

Sample size: planned number of clusters
3825 students
Sample size: planned number of observations
3825 students
Sample size (or number of clusters) by treatment arms
956 students per condition for each of the 4 conditions
Minimum detectable effect size for main outcomes (accounting for sample design and clustering)

Institutional Review Boards (IRBs)

IRB Name
Michigan State University
IRB Approval Date
IRB Approval Number