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Can Better "Choice Architecture" Improve College Completion Rates?


by Judith Scott-Clayton February 23, 2011

Many factors contribute to high college dropout rates, including poor academic preparation and insufficient financial supports. One potentially contributing factor, however, has received far less attention: that students may be overwhelmed by the very flexibility and choice that are the hallmarks of U.S. higher education. This commentary describes how choice overload can lead to mistakes, procrastination, and dissatisfaction as students attempt to navigate their way through college, and discusses potential solutions.


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Cite This Article as: Teachers College Record, Date Published: February 23, 2011
http://www.tcrecord.org ID Number: 16350, Date Accessed: 11/1/2014 4:54:15 AM

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About the Author
  • Judith Scott-Clayton
    Teachers College, Columbia University
    E-mail Author
    JUDITH SCOTT-CLAYTON is an Assistant Professor of Economics and Education at Teachers College, Columbia, where she teaches labor economics and quantitative methods for causal inference. She is also a Senior Research Associate at the Community College Research Center. Her primary interests are postsecondary education, inequality, and policy design and evaluation, with a particular focus on financial aid and other policies aimed at improving college attainment among disadvantaged populations.
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