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It’s not standardized test scores or demographic factors, according to a new book. Instead, it’s this.
In “Crossing the Finish Line,” co-authors William Bowen, Matthew Chingos and Michael McPherson analyzed the educational records of more than 200,000 students who entered four-year colleges in 1999.
Among their findings: The grades students achieve in high school are the best predictor of how well they will do in college.
The authors also say that based on their findings:
- The type of high school a student attends isn’t a great predictor of whether he’ll finish college
- When it comes to most colleges, a student’s SAT and ACT scores don’t help predict whether he will earn a college degree
- Students who finish high school with a grade point average of at least 3.0 are a lot more likely to graduate from college than those who don’t, and
- Four-year colleges are a surer route to a degree than community colleges.
The book also says that among the students studied, white men were 6% more likely to graduate than black men with similar scores and grades, and women were much more likely to graduate than men.
What do you think is the best predictor of academic success beyond high school? Tell us what you think in the comments section below.
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