Applying behavioral insights to improve postsecondary education outcomes

Brookings: “Policymakers under President Obama implemented behaviorally-informed policies to improve college access, completion, and affordability. Given the complexity of the college application process, many of these policies aimed to simplify college and financial aid application processes and reduce informational barriers that students face when evaluating college options. Katharine Meyer and Kelly Ochs Rosinger summarize empirical evidence on these policies and conclude that behaviorally-informed policies play an important role, especially as supplements to (rather than replacements for) broader structural changes. For example, recent changes in the FAFSA filing timeline provided students with more time to complete the form. But this large shift may be more effective in changing behavior when accompanied by informational campaigns and nudges that improve students’ understanding of the new system. Governments and colleges can leverage behavioral science to increase awareness of student support services if more structural policy changes occur to provide the services in the first place….(More)”.