Evaluation of the CCCCO Financial Literacy Pilot Interim Report
Authors: Ashweeta Patnaik, Cynthia Juniper, and Greg Cumpton
Date: May 2020
Publication Type: Report, 46pp.
Financial wellness and financial literacy are important when it comes to the success of community college students. With this in mind, the California Community College Chancellor’s Office (CCCCO) brought together fifteen California community colleges to pilot a unique financial literacy messaging intervention (FL Pilot) in 2019. The goal of the pilot was to increase student retention and success by delivering useful financial literacy material, focusing on much-needed information about budgeting and credit, and specifically targeting first-year, first-time students, via a texting/email platform.
The CCCCO partnered with the Ray Marshall Center (RMC) to conduct a comprehensive evaluation of the FL pilot. RMC’s evaluation included an outcome evaluation for each college and a rigorous impact evaluation for the pilot as a whole. RMC adopted a quasi-experimental evaluation approach and used propensity score matching (PSM) to study the impacts of the pilot on key academic and retention student outcomes. Preliminary analysis suggests that the financial literacy messaging campaign had a small but positive impact on first-semester GPA for all students and a fairly large positive impact on fall-to-spring persistence for first-time college students. This interim report presents early findings from the evaluation and discusses next steps as colleges consider implementing the intervention in the 2020-21 academic year.