Impact of a Scholarship, Information & Encouragement

Closing the Gap: The Effect of a Targeted, Tuition-Free Promise on College Choices of High-Achieving, Low-Income Students Susan Dynarski, C.J. Libassi, Katherine Michelmore, and Stephanie Owen NBER Working Paper No. 25349 December 2018

Low income students even those with strong academic credentials are unlikely to apply to attend highly selective colleges.  A randomized control trial found that when these students were contacted directly along with their parents and principals and encouraged to apply with the promise of a significant scholarship upon acceptance, there was a 41% increase in applications and a 15% increase in acceptance to a highly selective college (University of Michigan).

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