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ERIC Number: ED587416
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 2017-Sep
Pages: 4
Abstractor: As Provided
Small Changes Make a Big Difference: How Behavioral Science Improved Participation in Advanced Placement. Issue Brief
Gonzalez, Naihobe
Mathematica Policy Research, Inc.
The Advanced Placement (AP) program has become a key step on the path to attending a selective college. In the University of California system, for example, more than 90 percent of applicants take AP or honors courses in high school (Geiser and Santelices 2006). However, the College Board estimates that nearly 300,000 high school students with the potential to succeed in an AP course graduate every year without ever taking one. Furthermore, high-achieving students from disadvantaged backgrounds are more likely than other high-achieving students to never take an AP class. Behavioral science researchers have shown that making small changes in the way information is presented can have a large impact on a person's decision to participate in a program. This issue brief examines how one such change--a personalized message added to a test score report--increased student participation in the AP program.
Mathematica Policy Research. P.O. Box 2393, Princeton, NJ 08543. Tel: 609-799-3535; Fax: 609-799-0005; e-mail:; Web site:
Publication Type: Reports - Research
Education Level: High Schools
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: Mathematica Policy Research, Inc.
Identifiers - Location: California
Identifiers - Assessments and Surveys: Preliminary Scholastic Aptitude Test