Now the results of those expansions are in, and they are discouraging. In recent months, a report on the academic-success project said that it hasn’t identified anything that made a difference. Both
financial-aid studies announced null results. So did the effort to nudge more students to apply to selective colleges. Why didn’t these nudges work for a larger population? And where does this leave students finding their way through college — and all of the people trying to help them?