December 14, 2016

The Effects of Additional Study Choice Activities: Evidence from a Randomized Controlled Trial

This paper analyses the eff ect of additional study choice activities on the probability that subscribers withdraw from the study field of their preference before the study actually commences, as well as on the study performance of students who actually start with the study.

Subscribers were randomly assigned to a study choice activity, which consisted of an assignment (representative of the first year curriculum) that provided them with additional information on the content of the study field of their preference. The data contain subscribers at three Dutch faculties in 2013/2014 - 2014/2015. Estimates suggest that the assignments did not cause a significant increase in the probability of withdrawal before the start of the study. We also find no significant eff ects of the intervention on the study results of enrolled students. Although we cannot exclude that other, more rigorous, interventions may generate significant positive eff ects on the quality of choice, our paper therefore suggests that small-scale interventions such as a single assignment - provided on top of other study choice activities - are ine ffective.

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