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Impacts of College Board’s RYCP Campaign on Postsecondary Enrollment
Last registered on November 04, 2018


Trial Information
General Information
Impacts of College Board’s RYCP Campaign on Postsecondary Enrollment
Initial registration date
November 01, 2018
Last updated
November 04, 2018 11:58 PM EST
Primary Investigator
University of Missouri
Other Primary Investigator(s)
Additional Trial Information
Start date
End date
Secondary IDs
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
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. 2018. "Impacts of College Board’s RYCP Campaign on Postsecondary Enrollment." AEA RCT Registry. November 04. http://www.socialscienceregistry.org/trials/3523/history/36755.
Experimental Details
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
Intervention End Date
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?
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 Name
IRB Approval Date
IRB Approval Number
Post Trial Information
Study Withdrawal
Is the intervention completed?
Is data collection complete?
Data Publication
Data Publication
Is public data available?
Program Files
Program Files
Reports, Papers & Other Materials
Relevant Paper(s)