Although in-person college access programs can be effective, less is known about whether low-cost and scalable virtual interventions can achieve the same benefits. We evaluate two variants of a virtual college counseling program. Students randomly assigned to the program felt more supported applying to college and applied more broadly to four-year colleges, but were not more likely to be accepted or enroll. We analyze rich and extensive survey data to explore mechanisms and why the program did not improve college enrollment. We conclude that low-intensity programs may work for some students, but many probably need in-person and intensive help.
Phillips, Meredith, and Sarah Reber.
"Does Virtual Advising Increase College Enrollment? Evidence from a Random-Assignment College Access Field Experiment."
American Economic Journal: Economic Policy,
Higher Education; Research Institutions
Education and Inequality
Education: Government Policy
Nonprofit Institutions; NGOs; Social Entrepreneurship