On the Use of Broadened Admission Criteria in Higher Education

Perspect Psychol Sci. 2017 May;12(3):436-448. doi: 10.1177/1745691616683050.


There is an increasing interest in the use of broadened criteria for admission to higher education, often assessed through noncognitive instruments. We argue that there are several reasons why, despite some significant progress, the use of noncognitive predictors to select students is problematic in high-stakes educational selection and why the incremental validity will often be modest, even when studied in low-stakes contexts. Furthermore, we comment on the use of broadened admission criteria in relation to reducing adverse impact of testing on some groups, and we extend the literature by discussing an approach based on behavioral sampling, which showed promising results in Europe. Finally, we provide some suggestions for future research.

Keywords: college admission; educational selection; high-stakes testing; noncognitive testing.

MeSH terms

  • Cognition / physiology*
  • Europe
  • Humans
  • School Admission Criteria*
  • Students*