Degree Type


Date of Award


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy



First Advisor

Mary E. Huba


This study investigated relationships among admission status, standardized test scores, major area of study, and academic outcomes among college freshmen entering directly from high school. The progress of 653 students (585 regular-admission students and 68 open-admission students) was evaluated over a period of four years. In addition, differences in the predictive validity of standardized test scores and high school performance for regular-admission students and open-admission students were examined;Significant differences favoring regular-admission students were observed in grade point averages for each year studied and in graduation rates at the conclusion of four years of instruction. There were also differences favoring regular-admission students in the percentage retained from year one to year two. Of interest was the finding of high first year attrition in both categories with 112 (19.1%) regular-admission students and 30 (44.1%) open-admission students not returning for the second year. No differences in retention rates were observed in the two groups for years three and four. In both admission categories professional school students achieved higher graduation rates than did students enrolled in the traditional disciplines;ACT scores and high school percentile ranks were positively and significantly related to grade point averages and graduation rates for regular-admission students. The relationships among these same variables for open-admission students were not significant. This might be attributed to the homogeneous nature of the open-admission students on these variables. The range of ACT scores for the open-admission group was 10 to 23, inclusive, and over 95% of the group finished in the lower half of their high school graduation class. More than 50% (37 of 68) finished in the lower fourth of their high school graduating class. There were significant differences between graduates and non-graduates for the regular-admission students only in both average ACT scores and average high school percentile ranks;While differences favoring regular-admission students were significant in all performance categories, it should be noted that differences lessened over the four-year cycle.



Digital Repository @ Iowa State University,

Copyright Owner

Thomas Moyer Pursel



Proquest ID


File Format


File Size

162 pages