Perform Better, or Else: Academic Probation, Public Praise and Students' Decision-Making
Many colleges utilize the Dean’s list and academic probation policies to encourage student success. However, not much research has been done to evaluate the impact of these performance standards on students’ behavior. In this paper, I examine the way students’ decision-making is affected when they receive public recognition or written reprimand based on their academic performance. I find that students who are named to the Dean’s list or placed on academic probation during their first year significantly improved their academic performance. To achieve this improvement, treated students are induced to strategically select courses and instructors that award grades more leniently.