InsideTrack Coaching

Local governments can invest in this strategy using State and Local Fiscal Recovery Funds (SLFRF) from the American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA).

  • This strategy can help address educational disparities. The U.S. Department of Treasury has indicated that strategies that help achieve this outcome are eligible for the use of Fiscal Recovery Funds.
  • Investments in this strategy are SLFRF-eligible as long as they are made in qualified census tracts or are designed to assist populations or communities disproportionately impacted by COVID-19.

Program overview

  • Provides individualized coaching for students to address academic and nonacademic barriers to remaining in college through graduation
  • Coaching provided through diverse media such as phone, video, email, text, and mobile apps
  • Partners directly with the university in order to provide relevant course and resource information
Target Population
Students enrolled in post-secondary education
Cost per Participant
Approximately $390 per student per semester

Evidence and impacts


Ranked as having the second-highest level of evidence by Social Programs That Work

  • No discernible effect on degree attainment
  • Increased credit accumulation and persistence

Best practices in implementation

  • Note: This content is under review.
  • Cast a wide net when recruiting participants, shifting away from a deficit-model mindset and towards a goal-setting method. Still, prioritize serving high-risk students first.
  • Hire enough staff for initial one-on-one counseling sessions with participants. Initial personalization of services yields higher retention.
  • Train coaches on other available institutional resources, allowing them to provide actionable guidance for students on everything from financial assistance to mental health services.
  • Leverage coaches for feedback on the success of the program and the student experience – in addition to counseling, coaches can be deployed as gatherers of general information about what students face.
  • Offer counselors peer training programs and information exchanges to help ensure a more uniform experience from both the coach and student perspective.
  • Establish an ongoing quality assurance plan, including refresher courses and formalized feedback system for coaches.
  • Encourage counselors to split their time equally across three different areas: academics, finances, and non-academic commitments.