Employing Noncognitive Variables to Improve Admissions, and Increase Student Diversity and Retention

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Abstract

Today, a growing number of North American postsecondary institutions are incorporating the use of noncognitive variables into their requirements for a holistic admissions process. Why is there more and more interest in utilizing these nonacademic variables for students who are applying to these institutions? It's all about student success and institutional improvement. The results from those colleges and universities that have embraced holistic admissions by adding noncognitive measures to their admissions requirements include students’ academic success and improved institutional persistence and graduation rates—particularly among students who may be disadvantaged by traditional admission practices.

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