Our Impact

Our Impact

2017-2018

   

33%

uAspire students are 33% more likely to enroll in college than their peers from similar high schools.

                

          

Annual Reports

            

The Research

uAspire is dedicated to data collection and analysis to assess the true impact of our work and improve our programming. In addition to our internal analysis, we partner with leading academic researchers and other external evaluators. We have recently completed or are currently engaged in several rigorous studies:

A randomized controlled trial evaluation of the uAspire Afford advising program from 2014 to 2018, found that it was effective in increasing student understanding of the financial aid process, helping students complete the steps for financial aid submission, and assisting students to leverage financial aid. Read more.

As part of a randomized controlled trial study in partnership with the College Board and the Harvard Graduate School of Education, uAspire’s advisors connected with 31,000 students in 15 states via text messaging. The study began in April 2015 during students’ junior year and concluded in September 2016 after college matriculation. The research findings will be available in 2018.

In collaboration with the College Board, uAspire is participating in a study of text advising for 15,000 low- and moderate-income high school seniors in eight states—California, Florida, Texas, Massachusetts, Michigan, North Carolina, New York, and Pennsylvania. Students were randomized to receive our advising from October 2016 through September 2017. The research findings will be available in 2018.


Launched in fall 2014, this two-year pilot intervention was designed to help students navigate college affordability and build financial capabilities in three Massachusetts community colleges. Results suggest students receiving uAspire’s advising had higher FAFSA renewal rates and on-time bill payments than aggregate statistics for new students.

uAspire partnered with researchers to implement three randomized control trials that evaluate methods for mitigating “summer melt,” when college-accepted high school graduates fail to matriculate at college in the fall. The summer 2011 study found uAspire’s in-person advising to reduce summer melt by 12.3 percentage points for low-income students. Studies during the summers of 2013 and 2014 found uAspire’s text message support to increase the likelihood that a college-intending student matriculated to college by 3 to 10 percentage points.

A randomized controlled study during the 2012-2013 academic year showed that uAspire’s texting program for community college students increased students’ persistence into the fall of their sophomore year by nearly 12 percentage points. Among community college students with GPAs of 3.0 or below, persistence increased by 23 percentage points. The text messages focused on financial aid and FAFSA renewal, and they reminded students about related topics, such as the importance of maintaining satisfactory academic progress in order to continue to qualify for financial aid.