What we do


Research Questions

The New York City High School Admissions Study is a multi-year study that addresses the following four research questions:

  1. To what extent to simplified informational tools improve NYC middle school students' (a) knowledge about high schools and high school quality; (b) school choices and placements; (c) academic outcomes and engagement upon enrollment in high school; and (d) likelihood of graduation from high school?
  2. How, if at all, do students respond differently to different types of interventions?
  3. How, if at all, do students respond differently to the interventions based on their backgrounds (gender, race/ethnicity, English language learner status, special needs status, test scores)?
  4. What produces differences in responses to the information and decision supports?




Our studies


Pilot study

The pilot study, conducted in the 2014-15 academic year, included two components: a school-level randomized trial of two information interventions in 29 schools, as well as personnel surveys and interviews.

Scale-up Study

The scale-up study was conducted in the 2015-16 academic year and included 165 schools, which were randomly assigned to one of three informational interventions or a control group. The scale-up study also included student, parent, and guidance counselor interviews.

at-scale studies

In the 2016-17 academic year, the NYC High School Admissions Study expanded to include more schools. All 165 schools that participated in the previous year and an additional 250 schools were randomly assigned to receive one of three informational interventions. This at-scale study also included school personnel surveys and interviews following the informational interventions.

In the fall of 2017, our team delivered web-based informational interventions the more than 400 schools that participated in the previous year. The intervention resources included digital and printed materials and were mailed to school counselors at the start of the 2017-18 school year.