ACT and SAT Not Good Predictors of College Graduation

ACT and SAT have traditionally been used for predicting first year grades and not graduation. But the USA policy conversation has shifted to college completion through president Obama’s leadership. Here is a new blockbuster study soon to be released in a forthcoming book- Crossing The Finish Line by former Princeton president Bill Bowen and Spencer Foundation head Mike McPherson. ACT and SAT 1 reasoning bear almost no relationship to college completion after high school course grades and SAT2 subject tests are taken into account.

High school grades are the best predictor of college graduation. They are followed by AP exams and SAT 2 subject matter tests like world history. Why should so much focus be put on first year grades when college completion is the real goal?? Perhaps admissions officers should rethink their criteria.

One comment on “ACT and SAT Not Good Predictors of College Graduation”

  1. I would think AP exams and SAT2 subjects are better predictors than High School GPA.
    I went to an elite private high school during my first two years and averaged around a 2.6. I later went to a local public high school during my junior and senior years where I averaged around a 3.9.
    I then went to a decent college where I got a 3.8 GPA. After a few years, I transferred to an elite college eventually failing out after three years. I later graduated at an ok state school with a 3.5 GPA.
    At an elite school, you are competing with the cream of the crop.

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