Friday, September 18, 2009

College Graduation has an interesting article about what factors best predict how likely people are to graduate college. Some of them are quite interesting, some fairly boring.

A few of the more interesting:
SAT scores don't predict graduation rates. Also they can be a risk sign for failure, when people go to schools where they are well above average they often perform worse relative to lower scoring students... AP scores however are really good predictors. People who do well on AP tests are a lot more likely to do well in college.

The high school you attended is meaningless. Once people from bad high schools get to college they do just as well as those from good high schools. So much for stretching to put your kids in a good school district... The college you attend however means a lot more. The better the college you go to, the higher your chance of graduating. This is a little counter-intuitive, but those who go to stretch schools do better than those who decide to take an "easier" alternative. Most likely this is because your peer group in college influences you a lot. If you go to a community college, that influence is probably for the worse, if you go to Harvard it is almost certainly for the better. Also, in my experience the professors are far more brutal at lower end schools; thinking nothing of failing large numbers of students. Grade inflation gets a bad name, but from the point of view of the student it is wonderful.

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