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Title:  WWC Review of the Report "Freshman Year Financial Aid Nudges: An Experiment to Increase FAFSA Renewal and College Persistence"
Description: 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 WWC group design standards without reservations.
Online Availability:
Cover Date: December 2014
Web Release: December 16, 2014
Print Release:
Publication #: WWC SSR20120
General Ordering Information
Center/Program: WWC
Associated Centers: NCEE
Type of Product: Single Study Review
Questions: For questions about the content of this Single Study Review, please contact:
NCES WebMaster.