What can admissions offices learn about prospective students based on when they send in their applications? Quite a bit, writes James Roche, associate provost for enrollment management at the University of Massachusetts at Amherst, in a guest post in the February 15, 2013 edition of the Chronicle of Higher Education.  Roche wondered if there was a connection between when in the admissions cycle applicants submitted their application and other factors, such as their incoming quality measures and their performance and persistence at the university.  He did some research and here is what he found:

“The question that persists is whether the date that applicants submit their applications has anything at all to do with their overall academic quality and the impact it has on persistence and performance. The short answer is: Yes! So what’s going on? Research on the traits of successful people suggests that, among other things, they are organized, focused, detail-oriented, efficient, confident, conscientious, responsible, resilient, committed, motivated, and decisive. The same descriptions are used when talking about predictors of student success. It’s likely that the same behavior that drives the application process also drives performance in the classroom. While many students possess those characteristics before they get to college, others look to their university experience to help develop them. Other factors related to why students succeed and persist are interwoven with those traits. For example, their commitment to the university in which they enroll is likely to be stronger if it was their first choice rather than their safety school.”

Click here to go to the full story in the Chronicle of Higher Education.