Impacts of College Board’s RYCP Campaign on Postsecondary Enrollment

Last registered on November 04, 2018

Pre-Trial

Trial Information

General Information

Title
Impacts of College Board’s RYCP Campaign on Postsecondary Enrollment
RCT ID
AEARCTR-0003523
Initial registration date
November 01, 2018
Last updated
November 04, 2018, 11:58 PM EST

Locations

Primary Investigator

Affiliation
University of Missouri

Other Primary Investigator(s)

Additional Trial Information

Status
Completed
Start date
2015-01-01
End date
2017-05-01
Secondary IDs
Abstract
To what extent can providing information and supportive services encourage high school graduates to attend a more selective postsecondary institution? The College Board administered a large randomized control trial, using approximately 785,000 low- and middle-income students in the top 50% of the PSAT and SAT distributions. The goal was to reduce or eliminate informational or behavioral barriers in the college application process by providing easily digestible information on a set of academically strong colleges to minimize the costs to students of aggregating data, encourage a broader college application portfolio, and provide an impetus to start the college search process. Some randomly assigned students received additional supports including offers for text message reminders, virtual advising, or financial incentives such as college application fee waivers.
External Link(s)

Registration Citation

Citation
Gurantz, Oded. 2018. "Impacts of College Board’s RYCP Campaign on Postsecondary Enrollment." AEA RCT Registry. November 04. https://doi.org/10.1257/rct.3523-1.0
Former Citation
Gurantz, Oded and Oded Gurantz. 2018. "Impacts of College Board’s RYCP Campaign on Postsecondary Enrollment." AEA RCT Registry. November 04. https://www.socialscienceregistry.org/trials/3523/history/36755
Experimental Details

Interventions

Intervention(s)
At a basic level the experiments consisted of three main interventions, though there is some nuance within these broad categories. The first treatment is referred to as “mailers” (or “brochures”), which were hard copy mailings to students at their homes that aggregated relevant information on key elements of the college application process. Example assistance included a personalized college “starter list” of potential postsecondary institutions, as well as information about the admission and financial aid application processes, guidance on evaluating academic, financial, and social fit, and checklists to help students manage the college application process without missing steps. There was some variation in mailer format and messaging across students or years, and sample mailers are provided in online appendices. The second treatment is referred to as “mailers plus”, where the “plus” indicates additional services that could include things like direct outreach to help in the college application (e.g., text messaging, small doses of virtual advising) or small financial incentives (e.g., free SAT score sends or college application fee waivers). The third treatment provided information through biweekly emails rather than mailers, and provided students with links that directed them to College Board websites where they could receive additional advice on the college application process.
Intervention Start Date
2015-01-01
Intervention End Date
2017-05-01

Primary Outcomes

Primary Outcomes (end points)
Quality of postsecondary institution attended, proxied by sector and other measures (average SAT/ACT of cohort; institutional expenditures per FTE; College Scorecard data on median earnings)
Primary Outcomes (explanation)
College quality measures are fairly ubiquitous in the literature and we will rely on those.

Secondary Outcomes

Secondary Outcomes (end points)
Secondary Outcomes (explanation)

Experimental Design

Experimental Design
The experiments relied primarily on students who took the PSAT or SAT during their 11th grade year, who were then identified as academically “high-achieving” or “on-track” based on their exam scores being in the top 10% or 50%, respectively. Each student was then assigned to one of four groups based on the interaction of these academic and income measures: high-achieving, low-income (HALI), high-achieving, middle-income (HAMI), on-track, low-income (OTLI), and on-track, middle-income (OTMI). This occurred for two high school graduating cohorts (2015 and 2016), so that randomization occurred within each income-achievement-year block.
Experimental Design Details
Randomization Method
Computer randomization
Randomization Unit
Indivdiuals within an achievement-income-high school cohort cel
Was the treatment clustered?
No

Experiment Characteristics

Sample size: planned number of clusters
--
Sample size: planned number of observations
785,000 students
Sample size (or number of clusters) by treatment arms
--
Minimum detectable effect size for main outcomes (accounting for sample design and clustering)
IRB

Institutional Review Boards (IRBs)

IRB Name
IRB Approval Date
IRB Approval Number

Post-Trial

Post Trial Information

Study Withdrawal

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Intervention

Is the intervention completed?
No
Data Collection Complete
Data Publication

Data Publication

Is public data available?
No

Program Files

Program Files
Reports, Papers & Other Materials

Relevant Paper(s)

Reports & Other Materials