Decision Making for Student Success : Behavioral Insights to Improve College Access and Persistence book cover
1st Edition

Decision Making for Student Success
Behavioral Insights to Improve College Access and Persistence

ISBN 9781138784987
Published March 25, 2015 by Routledge
180 Pages - 1 B/W Illustrations

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Book Description

Each year, many students with affordable college options and the academic skills needed to succeed do not enroll at all, enroll at institutions where they are not well-positioned for success, or drop out of college before earning a credential. Efforts to address these challenges have included changes in financial aid policy, increased availability of information, and enhanced academic support. This volume argues that the efficacy of these strategies can be improved by taking account of contemporary research on how students make choices. In Decision Making for Student Success, scholars from the fields of behavioral economics, education, and public policy explore contemporary research on decision-making and highlight behavioral insights that can improve postsecondary access and success. This exciting volume will provide scholars, researchers, and higher education administrators with valuable perspectives and low-cost strategies that they can employ to improve outcomes for underserved populations.

Table of Contents


Sandy Baum, Benjamin L. Castleman, and Saul Schwartz

Chapter 1

Behavioral Economics and Postsecondary Access: A Primer

Benjamin L. Castleman, Sandy Baum, and Saul Schwartz

Chapter 2

Motivation, Behavior, and Performance in the Workplace: Insights for Student Success in Higher Education

Charles Kurose

Chapter 3

Student Aid, Student Behavior, and Educational Attainment

Sandy Baum and Saul Schwartz

Chapter 4

How Can Financial Incentives Improve the Success of Disadvantaged College Students? Insights from the Social Sciences

Nicole M. Stephens and Sarah S. M. Townsend

Chapter 5

Prompts, Personalization, And Pay-Offs: Strategies To Improve The Design And Delivery Of College And Financial Aid Information

Benjamin L. Castleman

Chapter 6

The Shapeless River: Does a Lack of Structure Inhibit Students’ Progress at Community Colleges?

Judith Scott-Clayton

Chapter 7

Prepare for class, attend, and participate! Incentives and student success in college

Robert M. Shireman and Joshua A. Price

Chapter 8

Behavioral Nudges for College Success: Research, Impact, and Possibilities

Jill Frankfort, Ross E. O’Hara, and Kenneth Salim


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Benjamin L. Castleman is an Assistant Professor of Education and Public Policy at the University of Virginia, USA.

Saul Schwartz is a Professor of Public Policy and Administration at Carleton University, Canada.

Sandy Baum is a Research Professor of Education Policy at George Washington University and a Senior Fellow at the Urban Institute, USA.


"Using clear explanations and numerous examples, the authors present an array of innovative practices shown to improve the educational outcomes for students. Drawing from research in multiple fields, the authors provide a nuanced picture of the challenges students face when making college decisions to help us understand not only why these barriers are so formidable, but also very real ways to overcome them. This book is a great resource for anyone working to support college access and success in this complex world."

--Dr. Bridget Terry Long, Saris Professor of Education and Economics, Harvard Graduate School of Education


"A terrific, accessible introduction to the power of "nudges" in improving education. Researchers, educators, and anyone who wants to lend a hand to struggling students will find important insights in this volume." 

--Susan Dynarski, Professor of Economics, Education and Public Policy, University of Michigan