What High-Achieving Low-Income Students Know About College

via The American Economic Review (P&P)
Friday, May 1, 2015

Previous work (Hoxby and Avery 2014) shows that low-income higher achievers tend not to apply to selective colleges despite being extremely likely to be admitted with financial aid so generous that they would pay less than they do to attend the non-selective schools they usually attend. The Expanding College Opportunities project is a randomized controlled trial that provides such students with individualized information about the college application process and colleges' net prices. In other work (Hoxby and Turner 2013), we show that the informational intervention substantially raises students' probability of applying to, being admitted at, enrolling at, and progressing at selective colleges. In this study, we show that the intervention actually changes students' informedness on key topics such as the cost of college, the availability of the curricula and peers they seek, and the different types of colleges available to them. We highlight topics on which the control students, who experienced no intervention, are seriously misinformed.

Available from the American Economic Association.

Media Coverage:
"Smart, Low-Income Students Who Shun Good Colleges: High sticker prices and unfamiliar terminology tend to scare them away, but a potential low-cost solution simply involves giving them access to better information" by Max Nisen The Atlantic, January 23 2015.

"Matching the Undermatched" by Scott Jaschik Inside Higher Ed, January 5 2015.