Thrivers_and_divers_using_non_academic_measures_to_predict_college_success_and_failure.pdf

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NBER WORKING PAPER SERIESTHRIVERS AND DIVERS:USING NON-ACADEMIC MEASURES TO PREDICT COLLEGE SUCCESS AND FAILUREGraham BeattieJean-William P. LalibertéPhilip OreopoulosWorking Paper 22629NATIONAL BUREAU OF ECONOMIC RESEARCH1050 Massachusetts AvenueCambridge, MA 02138September 2016We are very grateful to Aloysius Siow, Nathalie Bau, Yosh Halberstam, Uros Petronijevic forhelpfuldiscussions and to seminar participants at the University of Toronto for comments. Wealso wish tothank Aaron de Mello for spectacular web development and research assistance, andMatthew Hendricksonfor helping us compile the administrative data.Financial support for thisresearch was provided bythe Ontario Human Capital Research and Innovation Fund, a SocialSciences and Humanities ResearchCouncil Insight Grant (#435-2015-0180), and a JPAL PilotGrant.Any omissions or errors are ourown responsibility. The views expressed herein are thoseof the authors and do not necessarily reflectthe views of the National Bureau of EconomicResearch.NBER working papers are circulated for discussion and comment purposes. They have not beenpeer-reviewed or been subject to the review by the NBER Board of Directors that accompaniesofficialNBER publications.© 2016 by Graham Beattie, Jean-William P. Laliberté, and Philip Oreopoulos. All rightsreserved.Short sections of text, not to exceed two paragraphs, may be quoted without explicitpermission providedthat full credit, including © notice, is given to the source.
Thrivers and Divers: Using Non-Academic Measures to Predict College Success and FailureGraham Beattie, Jean-William P. Laliberté, and Philip OreopoulosNBER Working Paper No. 22629September 2016JEL No. I2,I23,J24ABSTRACTWe collect a comprehensive set of non-academic characteristics for a representative sample ofincomingfreshman to explore which measures best predict the wide variance in first-year collegeperformanceunaccounted for by past grades. We focus our attention on student outliers.Studentswhose first-yearcollege average is far below expectations (divers) have a high propensity forprocrastination – theyself-report cramming for exams and wait longer before startingassignments. They are also considerablyless conscientious than their peers. Divers are morelikely to express superficial goals, hoping to 'getrich' quickly. In contrast, students who exceedexpectations (thrivers) express more philanthropic goals,are purpose-driven, and are willing tostudy more hours per week to obtain the higher GPA they expect.A simple seven-variableaverage of these key non-academic variables does well in predicting collegeachievement relativeto adding more variables or letting a machine-algorithm choose.Our results,descriptive innature, warrant further research on the importance of non-linearities for the design andtargetingof successful interventions in higher-education.

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Term
Fall
Professor
Ramiro Gil-Serrate
Tags
Standard Deviation, The American, Big Five personality traits

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