Summer Nudging: Can Text Messages and Peer Mentors Increase College Going Among Low-Income HS Grads?

Full Abstract: Recent research documents substantial summer attrition among high school graduates who have been accepted to college and declared an intention to enroll immediately after high school. We report on two large-scale experiments investigating the role of technology and peer mentor outreach in mitigating summer attrition. An automated and personalized text messaging campaign to remind students of required pre-matriculation tasks substantially increased college enrollment among students who had less access to college planning supports. A peer mentor intervention increased four-year college enrollment. Both strategies are cost-effective approaches to increase college entry among populations traditionally underrepresented in higher education.

CEPWC Working Paper Series No. 9. April 2013.