A weekly “nudge” from a coach increases retention and graduation rates by 10 to 15 percent, according to a working paper by Stanford Education Professor Eric Bettinger and doctoral student Rachel Baker.
Coaches trained by InsideTrack, a one-on-one coaching firm, checked in with students by phone, e-mail or text to encourage students to get their work done, reports College Bound. “The coaches developed a rapport with the students, and the encouraging relationship appears to have paid off.”
After six months, the coached student group led the non-coached group in retention by about 10 percent. After 12 months, it went up to 12 percent. The coached group also led at 18 months and 24 months, by 15 percent and 14 percent, respectively. The results held when the researchers controlled for age, gender, SAT or ACT scores, high school GPA, and scholarships and grants.
Graduation rates were 13 percent higher for coached students in the subsample where completion-rate information was available.
The coaching cost about $1,000 per student, making it cost-effective compared to other programs designed to improve retention.