Enhance Your Application Process: Strategies to Measure Grit and Non-Cognitive Variables (Webcast Recording)



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Many application processes do not assess for persistence and grit, yet these qualities are often a better predictor of success than academic ability. Traditional admissions processes that focus solely on academics put some students at a disadvantage – especially first-generation or low-income students. Incorporating the right questions into your application processes will help you better predict success for students who might not meet traditional requirements.

Join us online to learn how to enhance your own admissions processes.  This webcast will provide strategies and tools to help you assess non-cognitive variables by rethinking:

  • The questions you ask in applications
  • How you phrase essay prompts
  • The reviewal process of extra-curricular activities and recommendations

Who Should Attend

This program is designed for Admissions and Enrollment Management professionals at both public and private four-year institutions who wish to develop or strengthen their current strategies to attract and retain diverse students.

Learning Outcome

After participating in this training, you will have tools to help you assess for grit and non-cognitive variables in the application process.


Northeastern University’s Jennifer Schoen discusses how you can improve your application processes and unmask the potential of first-generation and low-income students by assessing for non-cognitive variables. Throughout the webcast, you will:

  • Gain an understanding of how accounting for these variables in the admissions process creates additional access opportunities for students with diverse experiences;
  • Receive tools that can be used to review your own admissions materials to see if and how you are currently using non-cognitive variables in your processes;
  • Learn how to articulate questions in ways that will get answers that better predict student success; and
  • Get tips to help you become a stronger voice in advocating for underrepresented students.


Jennifer Shoen, Director, Opportunity Scholarship and Outreach Programs, Northeastern University

Jennifer Schoen is passionate about helping first-generation college students get into and graduate from college. Jennifer has spent the last 30 years in higher education working with underrepresented students in both admission and retention roles. Currently, Jennifer is the director of the Opportunity Scholarship and Outreach Office at Northeastern University in Boston. She coordinates an alternate admissions process for the Torch Scholars program that uses non-cognitive variables to indicate potential beyond SAT scores and GPA. Jennifer is currently working on her doctoral dissertation, looking at the motivational factors of first-generation students from low-income backgrounds using the framework of The Hero’s Journey. In addition to her role as educator and student, Jennifer is also an author and speaker, helping first-generation students and their parents understand the college admissions process.


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