Information on Education Tax Credits & College Enrollment Decisions

Last registered on January 28, 2014


Trial Information

General Information

Information on Education Tax Credits & College Enrollment Decisions
First published
January 28, 2014, 11:26 AM EST

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


Primary Investigator


Other Primary Investigator(s)

PI Affiliation
University of Texas at Austin
PI Affiliation
Teachers College, Columbia University

Additional Trial Information

On going
Start date
End date
Secondary IDs
The United States federal income tax provides tax benefits for households with college-enrolled students. Nonetheless, the complexity of the tax code may prevent eligible individuals from fully taking advantage of this financial aid for college. In this project, we test the hypothesis that providing information on tax benefits for college enrollment can increase college attendance. The research is based on a randomized mailing experiment conducted in collaboration with the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board. In the experiment, we will randomly select applicants to receive information on federal tax benefits related to college-enrolled dependents will be mailed to households with student children who are considering college attendance. The analysis will measure the impact of providing this tax-benefit information on college application and enrollment outcomes. This experiment will be implemented beginning in the Fall of 2013, with outcome data becoming available by late Fall of 2014.
External Link(s)

Registration Citation

Bergman, Peter, Jeff Denning and Dayanand Manoli. 2014. "Information on Education Tax Credits & College Enrollment Decisions." AEA RCT Registry. January 28.
Former Citation
Bergman, Peter, Jeff Denning and Dayanand Manoli. 2014. "Information on Education Tax Credits & College Enrollment Decisions." AEA RCT Registry. January 28.
Experimental Details


Intervention Start Date
Intervention End Date

Primary Outcomes

Primary Outcomes (end points)
increase take-up of tax credits and/or college enrollment
Primary Outcomes (explanation)

Secondary Outcomes

Secondary Outcomes (end points)
Secondary Outcomes (explanation)

Experimental Design

Experimental Design
Hidden until trial end date.
Experimental Design Details
At the end of each month in Fall 2013, mailing addresses will be collected by THECB for newly registered applicants. The research team will then randomize addresses into the treatment group or the control group. Addresses in the control group will not receive any treatment. Addresses in the treatment group will be mailed a one-page notice. The mailings will be completed by March 2013 or earlier. Information on college enrollment decisions will become available at THECB in the Fall of 2014. We will conduct the empirical analysis once this outcome data is available and we expect to complete a paper for academic publication by the end of 2015.
Randomization Method
Randomization done in office by a computer
Randomization Unit
Was the treatment clustered?

Experiment Characteristics

Sample size: planned number of clusters
200,000 applicants
Sample size: planned number of observations
200,000 applicants
Sample size (or number of clusters) by treatment arms
The exact sample size will be determined by the number of applicants and the THECB data, but we anticipate it will be roughly 100,000 treatment applicants and 100,000 control applicants. This estimate is based on the number of applicants that THECB reported to us for 2013.
Minimum detectable effect size for main outcomes (accounting for sample design and clustering)

Institutional Review Boards (IRBs)

IRB Name
Teachers College, Columbia University
IRB Approval Date
IRB Approval Number


Post Trial Information

Study Withdrawal

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Is the intervention completed?
Data Collection Complete
Data Publication

Data Publication

Is public data available?

Program Files

Program Files
Reports, Papers & Other Materials

Relevant Paper(s)

Reports & Other Materials