Now Available: ‘Nudges, Norms, and New Solutions’

Interested in using behavioral science to help more students get to and through college?

A new guide— Nudges, Norms, and New Solutions —is now available for educators as they develop strategies to assist college-bound students. A Nudge Hotline has also been established to help counselors and others customize the guide’s advice for the communities they serve.

Both the guide and the hotline are free and were developed through a collaboration between the Nudge4 Solutions Lab at the University of Virginia and ideas42, a nonprofit that applies behavioral science to today’s toughest social problems.

Former First Lady Michelle Obama’s Reach Higher initiative is a project partner. Topics covered in the guide include access to college, student finances, and college life and academics.

“On the surface, behavioral innovations can seem simple and easy to implement — a reminder about a financial aid deadline, a prompt for students to plan which courses to take in the coming semester, or student testimonials about their college experiences,” the press release notes. “But subtle shifts in the tone, timing, and framing of these messages can make the difference between an approach that helps students achieve their college dreams and one that is ineffective or even backfires.”

Check out the guide and learn more why #NACACreads author Benjamin Castleman — who helped create the guide — believes nudges can help foster student success.

Admitted writer/editor Mary Stegmeir welcomes additional comments and story ideas at