Panel Paper: College Readiness, Student Expectations and Success: The Role of Non-Cognitive Skills

Saturday, November 4, 2017
Water Tower (Hyatt Regency Chicago)

*Names in bold indicate Presenter

Malachi Nichols, Gema Zamarro and Julie R. Trivitt, University of Arkansas

In this advanced economy the requirement to increase one’s human capital is a necessary tool to improving life outcomes. For this reason, identifying what skills are associated with college success is a non-trivial issue. We surveyed over 1,400 entering college freshmen and created a comprehensive data set including measures of non-cognitive skills, cognitive ability, demographics, high school academic performance, and subjective expectations on college performance. Within our analysis we identify students objectively performing below expectations and above expectations based on past performance. Our results show that students performing below expectations are less likely to be conscientious and have the highest levels of unrealistic subjective expectations on college performance as compared to students objectively performing above or meeting expectations.