School of Education | Department of Educational Policy Studies
Hometown: Springfield, TN
Taylor Odle is an Assistant Professor of Educational Policy Studies and an affiliate in Data Science at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. He is a national expert on issues in the economics of education with a specific focus on college access and success. In his work, Dr. Odle regularly advises state policymakers, institutional leaders, and nonprofit organizations on effective ways to increase access to and success in college.
Getting Rid of College Applications
Applying to college is anything but simple. The current college search and application process requires students to jump many hurdles and rely on high levels of social, financial, and cultural capital. This complexity—combined with the uncertainty of being admitted—leads many to not apply altogether. What if students were instead proactively admitted to college? This talk describes how emerging “direct admissions” programs work and focuses on a large-scale experiment conducted by Dr. Odle and the Common App. The research team worked with six universities across four states to randomly assign over 32,000 students to either receive an automatic college acceptance letter and fee waiver or to a business-as-usual condition. Dr. Odle will discuss the program’s impact on students’ application behaviors and subsequent college enrollments, including its implications for the ongoing design of direct admissions policies across several states.