Colleges frequently change their application fees and application essay requirements, and it turns out that students strongly respond to these relatively small costs in the application process. Our new paper, “Screening Mechanisms and Student Responses in the College Market,” we find that requiring a college application essay decreases the number of applications received at that college by 6.5%. We also find that increasing the application fee by 10% corresponds to roughly a 1% decrease in applications.
Conditions of Education in California
A recently-published study finds that Latino English learner (EL) students enrolled in bilingual programs typically take longer to become proficient in English but more of them reach English proficiency compared to students in all-English classrooms.
A recent study reviewed four types of school-based approaches to increasing youth physical activity and estimated their costs and cost-effectiveness: after-school programs, before-school programs, extending the school day to provide 60 minutes of PE, and short (10-minute) in-class physical activity breaks. Physical activity gained was similar across program types whereas program cost is the strongest determinant of cost-effectiveness.
Recent research finds that at community colleges and less-selective four-year colleges, students who attend summer bridge programs are, on average, ten percentage points more likely to finish degrees within six years, with larger effect sizes for black and Hispanic students (compared to whites, Asians, and others), first-generation college students, and students with lower GPAs in high school.
Parents whose children participated in Head Start experienced steeper increases in their own educational attainment compared with parents of the control-group children. Findings are especially strong for parents with at least some college but no degree at baseline, as well as for African American parents.
Conditions of Education is taking a brief break from research this week to say thank you to all the amazing people who work so hard to improve education in California. To the teachers, administrators and staff whose daily work benefits us all, and to the practitioners, researchers, staffers, legislators, think-tankers, policy wonks and advocates who contribute to education policy in Sacramento and across the state: thank you. We wish a safe and happy Thanksgiving to you all!
A comparison of data use in traditional districts and charter management organizations reveals conditions that both enable and constrain effective practices among educational leaders.
Previous research has found that remedial courses often have little impact on students. A new study suggests that many students are assigned to remediation who do not actually need it, but that better screening measures could greatly improve appropriate placement.
The large number of children exposed to paternal incarceration has spawned a growing literature on its deleterious intergenerational consequences, but relatively little research considers the consequences of paternal incarceration for children’s educational outcomes. Researchers have found that children who experience paternal incarceration between ages one and five, compared to those who do not experience paternal incarceration, are more likely to experience grade retention in elementary school.
Cost-effectiveness analysis is a useful but underutilized tool that researchers can employ to provide policymakers with information that promotes more efficient use of educational resources and helps them maximize gains in student learning. A recent study applies the method to dropout prevention programs and finds a wide variation in costs of producing high school graduates.