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ERIC Number: ED550649
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 2014-Dec
Pages: 7
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: N/A
WWC Review of the Report "Freshman Year Financial Aid Nudges: An Experiment to Increase FAFSA Renewal and College Persistence." What Works Clearinghouse Single Study Review
What Works Clearinghouse
The 2014 study, Freshman Year Financial Aid Nudges: An Experiment to Increase FAFSA Renewal and College Persistence, measured the impact of sending text message reminders regarding annual Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) renewal to first-year college students who were already receiving financial aid. The study sample included 808 students, most of whom were attending a postsecondary institution in Massachusetts. Students in the intervention group received text messages approximately every 2 weeks. The messages offered assistance with the financial aid process, reminders of important deadlines, and reminders about maintaining satisfactory grades. The comparison group did not receive the text messages. Study results demonstrated that while text messaging the financial aid renewal information had no significant effect overall on the rates of student persistence from their freshman to their sophomore years, it was effective in increasing freshman to sophomore year persistence at 2-year colleges. This is a well-executed randomized controlled trial that meets What Works Clearinghouse (WWC) group design standards without reservations. Appendixes include: (1) Study details; (2) Outcome measure for the credit accumulation domain; (3) Study findings for the credit accumulation domain; and (4) Supplemental findings for the credit accumulation domain. [The following study is the focus of this review: Castleman, B. L., & Page, L. C. (2014). "Freshman year financial aid nudges: An experiment to increase FAFSA renewal and college persistence" (EdPolicyWorks Working Paper Series No. 29). Charlottesville, VA: EdPolicyWorks.]
What Works Clearinghouse. P.O. Box 2393, Princeton, NJ 08543-2393. Tel: 866-503-6114; e-mail:; Web site:
Publication Type: Reports - Evaluative
Education Level: Higher Education; Postsecondary Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: What Works Clearinghouse (ED)
Identifiers - Location: Massachusetts
IES Funded: Yes
What Works Clearinghouse Reviewed: Meets Evidence Standards without Reservations