Evaluation of the CCCCO Financial Literacy Pilot Final Report
Authors: Ashweeta Patnaik, Greg Cumpton, and Cynthia Juniper
Date: May 2021
Publication Type: Report, 67pp.
The California Community College Chancellor’s Office (CCCCO) partnered with fifteen community colleges across California to pilot a unique financial literacy messaging intervention in fall 2019 and fall 2020. 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 for the Study of Human Resources (RMC), to conduct a comprehensive evaluation of the pilot. RMC’s evaluation included an outcome evaluation for each college and a rigorous impact evaluation for the pilot as a whole. Using a quasi‐experimental evaluation approach, RMC researchers found that overall, the financial literacy messaging campaign had small but positive impacts on academic outcomes in the semester that the pilot was implemented in, but no impacts on longer‐term academic outcomes, retention outcomes, and credential attainment outcomes. Sub‐group analyses found positive impacts on fall‐to‐spring retention for first‐time students, female students, and financial aid students. In this final report, researchers discuss the evaluation’s findings and offer recommendations. The results of this evaluation can serve as an impetus for colleges to scale up and expand their financial literacy messaging campaign while adopting evidence‐based best practices.