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Summaries of RCT Grants

RCT to evaluate OneGoal: a three-year program to help low-income high school students prepare for and succeed in college

This project is an RCT of OneGoal – a program for low-income high school students aimed at preparing students to enroll and succeed in college.

Grant Recipient: University of Chicago Urban Labs

Term: 2019 –2029

Principal Investigators: Kelly Hallberg, Ph.D., University of Chicago

Marianne Bertrand, Ph.D., University of Chicago

Funding: $292,717

Summary: This project is an RCT of OneGoal – a program for low-income high school students aimed at preparing students to enroll and succeed in college. The program is offered as an elective course during students’ junior and senior years of high school and works with students to improve their study habits, apply to “best-fit” colleges, and obtain financial aid. During students’ first year in college, OneGoal continues to provide support (regardless of where they matriculate), by connecting students with on-campus support systems, helping them register for courses, and providing emergency financial assistance towards tuition payments or other student-related expenses if needed.

While the OneGoal program has not yet been rigorously evaluated, components of OneGoal’s program model are backed by promising evidence from prior RCTs, including the evaluation of the Bottom Line counseling program for low-income students that spans the end of high school through the college years, and the evaluation of college financial aid application assistance provided by H&R Block.

Under this project, researchers will recruit approximately 2,100 students from public high schools in Chicago. Half of the students will be randomly assigned to enroll in the OneGoal program while the other half will receive the standard college preparatory supports available in their school. The researchers will use National Student Clearinghouse data to measure college enrollment, college persistence (second-year enrollment), and college graduation through eight years after random assignment.

The study’s pre-specified analysis plan is linked here.

Grants

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