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Increasing Cal Grant Take Up Through Improved Communications; Administrative Data Linking

June 5, 201812:00 pm1:30 pm


Each year, the California Student Aid Commission awards Cal Grants – college funds that don’t need to be paid back – to eligible California students. How can we get more students to take advantage of them? The California Policy Lab is testing whether letters designed with simplicity and behavioral nudges can increase the rates at which eligible students take up Cal Grants.

Plus, a discussion of CPL’s ongoing use of administrative data – the challenges of matching individual records across administrative data sets, and CPL’s experience linking data from one California county.

This event is open to UC Berkeley affiliates only. We invite the public to join us at our speaker series events.


Vikash Reddy is a Policy Analyst with the California Policy Lab at UC Berkeley. He received his PhD in Education Policy from Teachers College, Columbia University. Before pursuing his doctorate, Vikash taught third grade at P.S. 213 in Brooklyn, NY, originally with Teach For America. Vikash holds a bachelor’s degree in Government from Dartmouth College and a master’s degree in Elementary Teaching from Pace University.


Elsa Augustine is a Research Associate with the California Policy Lab at UC Berkeley. She recently received a Master of Public Policy degree from UC Berkeley. Before graduate school, Elsa worked in immigration law in Southern Texas and as a Peace Corps Volunteer in El Salvador. She holds a bachelor’s degree in Political Science from Washington University in St. Louis.