Ben Castleman is an Assistant Professor of Education and Public Policy at the University of Virginia and is the Faculty Director of the University of Virginia-US Army Partnership on the Educational Trajectories of Soldiers and their Dependents. Dr. Castleman’s research applies insights from behavioral economics and social psychology to improve college access and success for low-income and non-traditional students. He has conducted several randomized trials to investigate innovative strategies to help students and their families navigate complex educational decisions. Dr. Castleman has presented about his research at The White House Summit on Expanding College Opportunity and in testimony before Congress. Dr. Castleman was one of the winners (with the college success organization Bottom Line) of the 2014 Coalition for Evidence-Based Policy / White House Office of Science and Technology Policy competition for low-cost randomized controlled trials in public policy.
Dr. Castleman has authored or edited several books: Summer Melt: Supporting Low-Income Students Through the Transition to College (with Lindsay Page); Decision Making for Student Success: Behavioral Insights to Improve College Persistence and Success (with Saul Schwartz and Sandy Baum); and the forthcoming The 160-Character Solution: How Text Messages and Other Behavioral Strategies Can Improve Education. Dr. Castleman’s research has been generously supported by numerous philanthropic foundations and has received extensive media coverage, including The New York Times, National Public Radio, Time Magazine, and the Washington Post. He is a recipient of a National Academy of Education / Spencer Foundation Dissertation Fellowship and a Jack Kent Cooke Foundation Dissertation Fellowship and is a recipient of The Association of American Colleges and Universities K. Patricia Cross Future Leaders award.
Dr. Castleman is a graduate of Brown University, and completed his doctoral work at Harvard University. Before returning to graduate school, he was a public school teacher and administrator in Providence, RI.