Design, implementation and assessment of a targeting mechanism in a college savings program

Journal title RIV Rassegna Italiana di Valutazione
Author/s Davide Azzolini, Alberto Martini, Barbara Romano, Loris Vergolini
Publishing Year 2023 Issue 2022/82 Language English
Pages 21 P. 33-53 File size 460 KB
DOI 10.3280/RIV2022-082003
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Percorsi is a matched savings program aimed at helping students from low-income households attend college. Previous experimental re-search has demonstrated the positive effects of the program on college enrollment and persistence. This paper investigates the extent to which these experimental results are attributable to the applied targeting strategy: students were admitted to the study through a targeting mechanism based on household income and on a predictive model of university enrollment probability. Applicants with a very high predicted universi-ty enrollment probability and those who revealed no intention of going to university were excluded from the program. The authors assess the performance of this approach by comparing cost-effectiveness esti-mates against simulated scenarios, showing that both the implemented and a simplified targeting yield a cost-effectiveness gain over a no tar-geting scenario. The study makes the case for an increased use of prior knowledge and collaboration between researchers and program manag-ers to enhance programs’ cost-effectiveness.

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Davide Azzolini, Alberto Martini, Barbara Romano, Loris Vergolini, Design, implementation and assessment of a targeting mechanism in a college savings program in "RIV Rassegna Italiana di Valutazione" 82/2022, pp 33-53, DOI: 10.3280/RIV2022-082003