Resources / Reports / Noncognitive Assessment and College Success: The Case of the Gates Millennium

Noncognitive Assessment and College Success: The Case of the Gates Millennium

Published Aug 2008
ihep
focus area Degree Completion

Examines noncognitive measures in admissions used to expand access and improve student engagement for low-income students and students of color

Given shifting demographic patterns in the United States and the importance of higher education to the 21st century workforce, policymakers and higher education officials are looking for ways to help underrepresented groups enroll in college and complete postsecondary credentials. Some decision makers have realized that traditional methods of assessing potential college students, particularly the reliance on standardized test scores in college admissions, may overlook strong applicants. Student groups currently underrepresented in higher education—including minorities, students from low-income families, and students whose parents did not attend college—may not perform especially well on traditional assessments but may still be able to succeed in college. This issue brief examines noncognitive measures (psychological, social, and cultural factors) some colleges and universities are beginning to use to supplement and expand the information they have about their applicants.