This four-year $3.2 million federal grant enables the Pullias Center to implement an online, game-based college access intervention in 60 California schools and to conduct a random-control trial to assess the effects of game play on FAFSA and college application completion and college enrollment. Study partners include California Student Aid Commission, UC Merced’s Center for Educational Partnerships, USC’s Game Innovation Lab, the Get Schooled Foundation, and Augenblick, Palaich, and Associates (outside evaluators).
As per the randomization, 30 schools were given initial access to the intervention; participation was incentivized through a variety of measures. Online tools were shared with the class of 2017 over the past two years and included a strategy game where students role-play a college applicant, an online platform with information and interactive activities, and an incentive structure where students earn prizes for themselves and their school. The intervention is designed to increase college-going efficacy, build college knowledge, foster college-related dialogue on campuses, and incentive students to apply to college and for financial aid. We are tracking these interim outcomes through quantitative, qualitative, and backend, server-level data collection. Final study outcomes include: (1) FAFSA and Dream Act submissions, (2) college application submission, and (3) college enrollment by school. Findings related to these outcomes will be available in fall of 2017. The entire sample of 60 schools will have access to the intervention during the 2017-2018 academic school years.
MTV Get Schooled Foundation capitalizes on the media and messengers of popular culture to inspire and motivate teens on their educational journey through high school and into higher education. Visit their site.
The California Student Aid Commission’s (CSAC) provides financial aid policy analysis and leadership, in partnership with California’s colleges, universities, financial institutions, and financial aid associations. Visit their site.
Center for Educational Partnerships’ provides student, school and parent-centered services that strive to connect K-12 goals with the University’s efforts to ensure a qualified and diverse student body. Visit their site.
Augenblick, Palaich and Associates Consulting (APA) use of a variety of research techniques to help clients solve problems to meet student performance goals and improve the quality, effectiveness, and efficiency of the nation’s public schools. Visit their site.
- University of Southern California Office of the Provost
- The Rosalinde and Arthur Gilbert Foundation
- Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation
- U.S Department of Education
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