To teenagers, choosing whether to study for next week’s history test instead of hanging out with friends is hard enough. As they transition to postsecondary education after high school or later in life, these types of choices grow in number and importance. Consequently, even the best laid plans for higher education can go awry.

This is where behavioral economics can help.

ideas42 believes that understanding human behavior has the powerful potential to affect outcomes we all agree are important – like increasing college acceptance, matriculation and completion. We can make real improvements through low cost interventions powered by behavioral design expertise. For example, an experiment designed to reduce the complexity of the financial aid application process not only increased the amount of aid received, but also increased college matriculation rates.

But we have only scratched the surface of what is possible. There is a lot more potential to apply these insights to postsecondary education.

In our recent white paper and convening, ideas42, with support from the Citi Foundation, began a dialogue around the potential applications of behavioral economics in postsecondary education, bringing together leading experts, practitioners, and funders in the postsecondary field.

As a next step, ideas42 is offering a unique opportunity for collaboration, combining your program expertise and organizational commitment with our behavioral economics expertise and financial assistance. Together, we will implement and test behaviorally informed interventions, developing new solutions to help students reach their potential.

Partnership with ideas42 on this work will advance in three steps. First, we would like to get to know potential partners. We have issued a Request for Problems, soliciting applications from organizations interested in building a deeper understanding of applied behavioral economics and partnering with ideas42 to develop and pilot a program intervention. Next, we will offer selected applicants the opportunity to learn from top behavioral experts at a two-day Masterclass in October. We’ll provide an immersive workshop in our framework for identifying behavioral problems and designing innovative interventions. Finally, we’d like to team up. After the Masterclass, ideas42 will select several organizations with whom to collaborate on designing a unique behavioral intervention for their problem. For more information and to apply, check out the following resources:

Request for Problems

White Paper