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This paper reports the results of a pilot study, using a randomized controlled trial to study the effects of the Amherst Telementoring Program for high-achieving students from relatively poor families. This program is designed to assist students with the college application process “in their pursuit of higher education regardless of which institutions they apply to or choose to attend.” We followed 98 high school seniors through the college admissions process in 2007-2008, including 51 who were selected at random and offered the opportunity to participate in the telementoring program. We find that telementoring had a significant effect, promoting applications to less selective colleges within the set ranked by Barron’s as “Most Competitive”. Further, we estimate that students offered telementoring were 3.5 percentage points more likely than students not offered telementoring to enroll in colleges ranked by Barron’s as “Most Competitive”, though this effect was not statistically significant.


Avery, Christopher. "The Amherst Telementoring Program for High-Achieving, Low-Income Students: Results of a Pilot Study with a Randomized Controlled Trial." HKS Faculty Research Working Paper Series RWP14-055, November 2014.