Moving America Forward

ACT Proves Small, Six-Dollar Measures Can Put More Low-Income Students in College

November 20, 2013
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ACT Proves Small, Six-Dollar Measures Can Put More Low-Income Students in College
Columbia university ACT low income
Flickr, Beraldo Leal
A simple measure with a significant result

Among low-income families, less than 30 percent of students attend college. It’s a complicated problem, one that won’t be solved by any simple solution. But we’re getting a better idea of little things we can do to boost that low rate. Take the recent investigation of ACT score reports by Amanda Pallais of the National Bureau of Economic Research. Pallais found that after 1997, the year that the ACT decided to give test-takers one more free score report (from three to four), low-income students:

  • applied to more colleges, and
  • attended selective colleges in greater numbers.

It was a simple measure that cost the ACT just $6 per score report, but it had a significant impact on low-income college enrollment.

 

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