First Advisor

Candyce Reynolds

Term of Graduation

Fall 2021

Date of Publication


Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Education (Ed.D.) in Educational Leadership: Postsecondary Education


Educational Leadership and Policy




Universities and colleges -- Admission, Underprepared college students, College dropouts -- Prevention



Physical Description

1 online resource (x, 110 pages)


The purpose of this study is to examine impacts of non-cognitive measures in the college admissions process on the retention of academically at-risk student populations. Increasing access to higher education is of benefit to individual and society as a whole. Traditional college admissions practices use standardized testing and GPA, which have been criticized for not being the best sole predictor for college preparedness. The use of non-cognitive measures may increase diversity and equity within the college admissions process.

This study considers students admitted to college through an extended admissions process who have completed short essays addressing non-cognitive measures. These students would be seen as "academically at-risk" due to their lower high school GPA, lower test scores, and/or missing preparatory requirements. This study will consider if the probability of being admitted to college changes based on non-cognitive scores using a quantitative research process.

The researcher used descriptive statistics, group means analysis, linear and logistic regression to examine if the use of non-traditional admissions procedures has impact on admission to college and first-to-second year retention of freshman students. After analyzing underlying demographic characteristics, the combination of standardized test scores, high school GPA, ACT, gender and race were determined to be reliable predictors of first to second-year retention. When used as a sole variable the Insight Resume does not have predictive value for first to second year retention, but when combined with other variables the predictive value for first to second year retention can increase.


© 2021 Kristen Marie Winter

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