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Bottom Line 2019 Follow-up Survey

College students studying at laptop in library
Assessing a guidance and mentoring program for low-income college students of color
  • Client
    Carnegie Corporation of New York
  • Dates


Some first-generation and low-income students of color face challenges navigating college.

Bottom Line is an established advising and mentorship program that helps degree-aspiring students of color from under-resourced communities to get into college, complete their degrees, and successfully launch their careers. A cohort of Bottom Line participants who graduated from high school in 2015 were part of a randomized controlled trial of the program’s effectiveness. Bottom Line wanted to follow up on their progress in 2019 as they would have been graduating from college and beginning their careers.


NORC surveyed participants in the Bottom Line mentorship program as they graduated from college.

With funding from the Carnegie Corporation of New York, NORC at the University of Chicago conducted the College Application Process Survey (CAPS) in partnership with Bottom Line and researchers at the University of Virginia and Texas A&M University. The goal was to better understand the program’s effects on improving the overall well-being and life outcomes of these youth as they become adults in our American society. This cohort was on average 22 years old at the time of the follow-up survey. Those pursuing bachelor's degrees were in their senior year of college or had just graduated, but all were at the critical juncture of early adulthood as they embarked on careers, furthered their education, started families, and pursued their life course.


This Bottom Line/CAPS status report provides insights to improve support for student success.

CAPS assessed health, psychosocial well-being, career goals, career preparation, financial literacy, attitudes towards educational attainment, and civic engagement of youth who did and did not receive Bottom Line program services. These measures went beyond traditionally studied educational outcomes. The scope was intentional because general life and social measures are critical for both Bottom Line and those who invest in the program.

A methodology report and public use data file, along with a codebook and user’s guide, are available for download.

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