Lily Fesler

Lily Fesler

Lily Fesler is a doctoral candidate in economics of education at the Stanford Graduate School of Education. She is a NAEd/Spencer Dissertation Fellow, an Institute of Education Sciences (IES) Fellow, and a Stanford Graduate Fellow in Science and Engineering. She received her MA in economics at Stanford and her BA in economics from Wesleyan University.

Her research focuses on inequality in access to higher education, and how students’ postsecondary choices are influenced by information about the college application process, personal preferences, and various programs and policies. She uses text-as-data and machine learning techniques to characterize students’ experiences navigating the college application process, and quasi-experimental techniques to identify the causal effects of postsecondary access programs. She has served as a teaching assistant for courses on applied quasi-experimental methods in education and founded the student group Computational Text Analysis in the Social Sciences (CTASS) at Stanford.

She is currently interning for the College Board, and is working in partnerships with College Advising Corps, the John Gardner Center, and the San Francisco Unified School District. She has previously worked as an education analyst at Abt Associates and an economic analyst at Compass Lexecon.

Selected Honors: 2019 NAEd/Spencer Dissertation Fellowship; Institute of Education Sciences Fellowship; Stanford Graduate Fellowship in Science and Engineering; Outstanding Article Award from the Journal of Research on Educational Effectiveness.

Recent publications: 

Fesler, L. (2020). Opening the Black Box of College Counseling.

Fesler, L., Dee, T., Baker, R., & Evans, B. (2019). “Using Text as Data Methods for Education Research.” Journal of Research on Educational Effectiveness.

Julie A. Edmunds, Fatih Unlu, Elizabeth Glennie, Lawrence Bernstein, Lily Fesler, Jane Furey & Nina Arshavsky (2017) Smoothing the Transition to Postsecondary Education: The Impact of the Early College Model, Journal of Research on Educational Effectiveness, 10:2, 297-325, DOI: 10.1080/19345747.2016.1191574

Programs and projects:

Dissertation committee: 

Thomas Dee, Eric Bettinger, Sean Reardon

Research interests: 
Education Policy, Higher Education, College Access, Inequality in Education, Causal Methods, Computational Methods

Ph.D. in Economics of Education, Stanford University (expected 2020)
M.A. in Economics, Stanford University (2018) BA in Economics, Wesleyan University (2011)

Contact info: 

Center for Education Policy Analysis at Stanford University
520 Galvez Mall Stanford, CA 94305