Decision Making for Student Success: Behavioral insights to improve college access and persistence

Benjamin L. Castleman
Saul Schwartz
Sandy Baum


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To gain a thorough understanding of student success, researchers have to examine how students' choices and behaviors result in educational performance. This book provides insights of cognitive psychology and behavioral economics to better understand student behavior. In chapter 2, Charles Kurose takes a look at the relationship between higher education and workplace outcomes. In chapter 3, Sandy Baum and Saul Schwartz investigates influence of financial aid on students' choices. Chapter 4 focuses on disadvantaged students who often face financial barriers. Chapter 5 address how institutions can better communicate with student in regards to costs and benefits of college education. Castleman underscores the importance of considering students' cognitive ability to process information. Chapter 6 addresses structure of decision-making process and argues that lack of the structure leads to suboptimal outcomes for students. Chapter 7 discusses cognitive bias or time-inconsistent decision makings. The final chapter focuses on low-cost strategies, arguing that minor institutional interventions help student academic outcomes.

APA Citation

Castleman, B. L., Schwartz, S., & Baum, S. (2015). Decision making for student success: Behavioral insights to improve college access and persistence. Routledge.

About the Study

Links to Article
Publication Type Book
In Publication Routledge
Type of Research Mixed methods
Research Design Survey research (qualitative or quantitative), Text analysis
Intervention/Areas of Study Cognition or cognitive learning
Level of Analysis Student-level
Specific Populations Examined Undergraduates
Peer-Reviewed Yes
Specific Institutional Characteristics of Interest 4-year Institution
Specific Course or Program Characteristics
Outcome Variables of Interest Degree attainment, Learning effectiveness, Persistence, Satisfaction
Student Sample Size
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