ERIC Number: ED215636
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 1982
Personal Qualities and College Admissions.
Willingham, Warren W.; Breland, Hunter M.
The extent to which personal and academic factors are important in college admission decisions was studied in 1978, based on data on 25,000 applicants to 9 colleges (Colgate University, Williams College, Ohio Wesleyan University, Kenyon College, Kalamazoo College, Occidental College, Hartwick College, University of Richmond, and Bucknell University). It was found that each college placed primary emphasis on academic factors (three times as much weight as personal ratings). High school rank and test scores were weighted about equally. In order to examine the effect of personal qualities on selection decisions, residual selection rates were computed for a number of different characteristics. At the most selective institutions various personal qualities played a preferential role in selection decisions. Minority status had the largest residual selection rate of any characteristic. Other background characteristics with positive residuals were those that tended to indicate some degree of affiliation with the college (e.g., alumni children). The findings contradict, however, any assumption that socially or economically privileged groups received preference in selection decisions. Personal qualities seemed to come into play mostly when admission was uncertain or unlikely. Attention was also directed to the effect of self-selection by students on application and college selection, the way that characteristics of freshmen classes differ by college, the way that personal qualities relate to success and persistence in the freshman year, and the research literature on admissions. A questionnaire and application forms and bibliography are appended. (SW)
Descriptors: Academic Achievement, Academic Persistence, Admission Criteria, Church Related Colleges, Class Rank, College Admission, College Applicants, College Choice, College Freshmen, Competitive Selection, Decision Making, Higher Education, Individual Characteristics, Private Colleges, Questionnaires, School Surveys, Scores, Student Characteristics
College Board Publications Orders, Box 2815, Princeton, NJ ($24.95 hardbound, $14.95 paperbound).
Publication Type: Reports - Research; Tests/Questionnaires; Books
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: College Entrance Examination Board, New York, NY.