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Summaries of RCT Grants

RCT evaluation of Federal Work Study for college undergraduates across the City University of New York system

This is a randomized controlled trial (RCT) to evaluate the impact of Federal Work Study (FWS) within the City University of New York (CUNY) system.

Grant Recipient: Teachers College, Columbia University

Term: 2019 –2024

Principal Investigator: Judith Scott-Clayton, Ph.D., Teacher’s College, Columbia University

Adela Soliz, Ph.D., Vanderbilt University

Thomas Brock, Ph.D., Teacher’s College, Columbia University

Funding: $696,418

Summary: This is a randomized controlled trial (RCT) to evaluate the impact of Federal Work Study (FWS) within the City University of New York (CUNY) system. Introduced as part of the Economic Opportunity Act of 1964, FWS provides financial aid (i.e., funding for tuition and other expenses) to low-income students by subsidizing up to 75% of eligible college students’ part-time, mostly on-campus, educationally relevant jobs. FWS serves over 600,000 students per year at a cost of $1 billion annually.

Researchers at Teachers College will partner with the CUNY system to randomly assign a sample of approximately 7,200 students across up to 18 undergraduate campuses in the greater New York metropolitan area. These students will be randomly assigned to either CUNY’s standard FWS offer or a control group, which would not receive an offer of FWS. The study’s primary outcomes will be college persistence and degree completion, measured with CUNY administrative data. Treatment take-up for students will be measured through CUNY’s payroll system (which contains data on whether offered FWS funds are actually used and in what amount).

The study’s pre-specified pre-analysis plan will be posted shortly.

Grants

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