New York Times Highlights Nudge Work by Nudge4 Director Ben Castleman

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Nudge4 Director Ben Castleman has nudge research cited in a New York Times op-ed.

A new approach — a text-messaging campaign directed at potentially vulnerable students during the summer, customized to remind them of the deadlines set by their intended college and directing them to counseling help — can reduce summer melt at a fraction of the cost. In his book “The 160-Character Solution,” Benjamin Castleman, an education professor at the University of Virginia, details this light-touch strategy.

Using texts is a smart move. This is how teenagers communicate — nearly two-thirds of them send texts daily, far more than talk on their phones or rely on email. “Hi, Alex!” a typical text might say. “Have you chosen your courses yet? Deadline is 8/15. Need to register? www.tinyurl.com/courses. Need help? Text back to talk w/ an adviser.” In a pilot study that enlisted nearly 5,000 students, 72 percent of low-income students who received the message followed through and enrolled in college, compared with 66.4 percent who didn’t get this information. The cost? Less than $7 a student.

Read the full article “Text Your Way to College” at the New York Times.

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