Dr. Bridget Terry Long, Ph.D. is the Dean and Saris Professor of Education and Economics at the Harvard Graduate School of Education. Long is a Research Associate of the National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER) and was elected to become a member of the National Academy of Education. She is also on the Board of Directors for MDRC, a nonprofit social policy research organization and an affiliate of the Abdul Latif Jameel Poverty Action Lab (J-PAL).  Long's research focuses on the economics of education with particular attention on the transition from high school to higher education and beyond. She has examined factors that influence student enrollment decisions, choice, and persistence in post-secondary education. Much of her work investigates the impact of education policies and programs, and several projects apply insights from behavioral economics to education.


Long has conducted several large, randomized controlled trials to establish the causal effects of interventions designed to better support students. Working with co-authors, she conducted a major study on the impact of information and assistance on completing financial aid forms (i.e. the FAFSA). The study contributed to quantitative evidence on the detrimental effects complex processes can have on educational attainment, and it has been cited in efforts to simplify the federal financial aid application. Long followed this work with studies on the effectiveness of interventions that focus on helping families save for higher education and students persist in college. She has also written about how the government and institutions could help students to make better educational decisions by providing clear, easy-to-access information.


Long has also used of state administrative data to explore long-standing questions in higher education, and she produced some of the earliest large-scale studies on the causal effects of post-secondary remediation, different types of instructors, and class size on college student outcomes. Additionally, several of her papers explore the supply side of higher education by studying the reactions of colleges and universities to changes in policy.


Long has won numerous research grants to support her research, including major awards from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, the U.S. Department of Education, and the National Science Foundation (NSF). She has been a project member of two federally-funded research centers: the National Center of Postsecondary Research (2006‐2012) and the Center for Analysis of Postsecondary Education and Employment (2011‐2016). She was selected to be a Fellow of the International Academy of Education (IAE) and is also a past recipient of the National Academy of Education/Spencer Postdoctoral Fellowship. The National Association of Student Financial Aid Administrators (NASFAA) awarded Long the Robert P. Huff Golden Quill Award for excellence in research and published works on student financial assistance. Long was selected to give a Centennial Lecture as part of the 100-year anniversary of the American Education Research Association (AERA).


Long was appointed by President Obama to the National Board for Education Sciences (NBES), the advisory panel of the Institute of Education Sciences (IES) at the U.S. Department of Education. She served as Vice Chair and then Chair during her appointment. She has also testified multiple times before Federal Congressional Committees and state government bodies on education issues, and she has been a Visiting Fellow at the Federal Reserve Bank of Boston. 


Long earned her A.B. in Economics with a Certificate in Afro-American Studies from Princeton University and her Ph.D. in Economics from Harvard University.  A member of the HGSE faculty since 2000, Long served as Academic Dean from 2013 to 2017 and the Faculty Director of the Ed.D. and Ph.D. programs from 2010 to 2013. She became Dean of the Harvard Graduate School of Education on July 1, 2018.

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