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Gritting it out: The importance of non-cognitive skills in academic mismatch

Fernando Saltiel ()

Economics of Education Review, 2020, vol. 78, issue C

Abstract: I examine the importance of non-cognitive skills in the matching process in higher education in the United States. Across two longitudinal data sources, I show that students with lower non-cognitive skills are more likely to undermatch (enrolling in less selective colleges given their academic credentials) and less likely to overmatch. The application process drives the relationship between non-cognitive skills and academic mismatch, as students with low non-cognitive skills are less likely to apply to a well-matched institution. I further show that non-cognitive skills are strong predictors of Bachelor’s degree completion. I propose an alternative definition of undermatch, which additionally considers students’ non-cognitive skills. Under this definition, a smaller share of high-achieving students undermatch in higher education.

Keywords: Non-cognitive skills; Mismatch; College completion (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2020
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DOI: 10.1016/j.econedurev.2020.102033

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