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ERIC Number: ED544475
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 2013-Nov
Pages: 9
Abstractor: ERIC
Reference Count: N/A
ISBN: N/A
ISSN: ISSN-
WWC Review of the Report "The Role of Application Assistance and Information in College Decisions: Results from the H&R Block FAFSA Experiment." What Works Clearinghouse Single Study Review
What Works Clearinghouse
In this study, the authors examined the impact of two interventions related to the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) on postsecondary outcomes of low- to moderate-income individuals. The two interventions were included: (1) providing an estimate of need-based aid compared against tuition costs for nearby colleges and assistance in completing the FAFSA; and (2) only providing an estimate of need-based aid. The interventions were implemented by tax professionals in H&R Block offices in the Charlotte, North Carolina area and throughout the state of Ohio. The authors examined the impact of the interventions on four postsecondary outcomes: (1) the likelihood of filing the FAFSA; (2) college enrollment; (3) receipt of a Pell Grant; and (4) retention in college after 2 years. The study found that the group of 17-year-old high school seniors and recent graduates (dependents) who received the FAFSA intervention were significantly more likely than the comparison group to submit the FAFSA (56% vs. 40%), attend college (42% vs. 34%), and enroll in college for 2 consecutive years (36% vs. 28%). Independent adults aged 24-30 with no prior college experience who received the FAFSA intervention were significantly more likely than the comparison group to submit the FAFSA (43% vs. 16%), and enroll in college (12% vs. 10%). Independent adults aged 24-30 with prior college experience who received the FAFSA intervention were significantly more likely than the comparison group to submit the FAFSA (52% vs. 32%). The study found no statistically significant differences between the information-only group and the comparison group on any outcomes. The research described in this report meets WWC evidence standards with reservations. Strengths: This study is a well-executed randomized controlled trial. Cautions: This study was based on a randomized controlled trial; however, impacts were presented for three distinct subgroups, and attrition for each of the subgroups cannot be calculated due to unknown subgroup information at baseline. For this reason, this study was reviewed as a quasi-experimental design. All comparisons presented in this report meet WWC standards with reservations. Appended are: (1) Study details; (2) Outcome measures for each domain; (3) Study findings for each domain--FAFSA intervention compared to comparison; and (4) Study findings for the assistance for college domain--information-only intervention compared to comparison. A glossary of terms is included. (Contains 5 endnotes.) [The following study is the focus of this "Single Study Review: "Bettinger, E., Long, B., Oreopoulos, P., & Sanbonmatsu, L. (2012). "The role of application assistance and information in college decisions: Results from the H&R Block FAFSA experiment." "Quarterly Journal of Economics," 127(3), 1205-1242.]
What Works Clearinghouse. P.O. Box 2393, Princeton, NJ 08543-2393. Tel: 866-503-6114; e-mail: info@whatworks.ed.gov; Web site: http://ies.ed.gov/ncee/wwc
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Evaluative
Education Level: Higher Education; Postsecondary Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: What Works Clearinghouse (ED)
Identifiers - Location: North Carolina; Ohio
Identifiers - Laws, Policies, & Programs: Pell Grant Program
IES Funded: Yes