An Evaluation of the Educational Impact of College Campus Visits: A Randomized Experiment

Resource Type
  • Swanson, Elise (University of Southern California)
  • Kopotic, Katherine (Saint Louis University)
  • Zamarro, Gema (University of Arkansas)
  • Mills, Jonathan N. (University of Arkansas)
  • Greene, Jay P. (University of Arkansas)
  • Ritter, Gary (Saint Louis University)
Publication Date
Free Keywords
college access; campus visits; field experiment
  • Abstract

    Using an experimental design, we study whether visits to a college campus during 8th grade can reduce intangible barriers to college access, specifically among underrepresented student populations. We examine if visits affect college visits affect students’ knowledge about college, postsecondary intentions, college-going behaviors, academic engagement, and ninth grade course enrollment decisions. Two cohorts of participating eight graders were randomized within schools to either a control condition, in which they received an information packet about college, or a treatment condition, in which they received the same information and visited a flagship university three times. Treatment group students exhibited higher levels of knowledge about college, higher levels of college efficacy, higher levels of grit, a higher likelihood of having conversations with school personnel about college, and a decreased desire to attend technical school. Additionally, treated students are more likely to enroll in advanced math and science/social science courses. However, we find mixed evidence on whether the visits increased students’ diligence on classroom tasks.
  • Methods

    Response Rates: 88% at baseline; 76% at follow-up
Temporal Coverage
  • 2016-01-01 / 2018-12-31
    Time Period: Fri Jan 01 00:00:00 EST 2016--Mon Dec 31 00:00:00 EST 2018 (Fall 2016-Spring 2018)
Geographic Coverage
  • Arkansas
This study is freely available to the general public via web download.
  • Is version of
    DOI: 10.3886/E130464

Update Metadata: 2021-01-08 | Issue Number: 1 | Registration Date: 2021-01-08