Archived Webinar: Introduction to The Higher Education Randomized Controlled Trial Dataset


In this webinar, MDRC’s Michael Weiss and John Diamond describe The Higher Education Randomized Controlled Trial (THE-RCT) restricted-access dataset, recently released at the Inter-university Consortium for Political and Social Research (ICPSR). THE-RCT is the largest individual-participant dataset from higher education randomized controlled trials to date, containing de-identified data from more than 25 MDRC random assignment evaluations encompassing 50 higher education institutions and 65,000 students.

MDRC researchers are currently using this database to explore research questions such as:

  • What happens to program effects after the program ends?
  • Which program components (for example, enhanced advising, financial support, or tutoring) are associated with larger improvements in student success?
  • What sized improvements in student success can various programs reasonably expect to achieve?

MDRC and ICPSR hope this dataset will inspire new scholarship that will help improve outcomes for low-income, underrepresented, and underprepared students, who have long been a focus of MDRC’s higher education studies. The dataset will continue to grow as MDRC and other organizations conduct additional higher education RCT studies, making it a more useful resource over time.

For more information on using the database, visit ICPSR. If you’re conducting a higher education RCT and want to include it in THE-RCT, please reach out to [email protected] or [email protected].