It is well understood that postsecondary education increases lifetime earnings, yet the complexity of the college application process creates a barrier to postsecondary enrollment. This paper investigates a whole-school external application assistance program run by a nonprofit student support services organization, Career Compass of Louisiana. We use panel data of Louisiana high schools in a difference-in-differences framework and find that exposure to Career Compass increases postsecondary enrollment by 3.9 percentage points. Moreover, the effect of exposure is larger in school districts with a majority of black students as well as districts with a majority of low-income students. By providing services to all schools within a district, the program is able to achieve low costs relative to similar programs and effects that are in line with many more expensive programs, suggesting that scaling this model to new areas could provide a cost-effective approach to increasing postsecondary enrollment among high school graduates.

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