Research in Higher Education

, Volume 20, Issue 3, pp 281–293

College grades and adult achievement: A research synthesis

  • Peter A. Cohen

DOI: 10.1007/BF00983503

Cite this article as:
Cohen, P.A. Res High Educ (1984) 20: 281. doi:10.1007/BF00983503


The present study used meta-analytic methodology to synthesize research on the relationship between college grades and adult achievement. The data for the meta-analysis came from 108 studies correlating grade average in college to various criteria of adult achievement or success. The average correlation between grade average and a composite success criterion was .18, a small effect. Correlations between grade average and eight other criteria of adult achievement were also small, ranging from .09 to .20. Correlational effects were larger in military settings and for studies conducted prior to 1950. The results of this meta-analysis may be somewhat discouraging to those who place a great deal of importance on the predictive value of grades.

Copyright information

© Agathon Press, Inc. 1984

Authors and Affiliations

  • Peter A. Cohen
    • 1
  1. 1.The University of Texas Health Science Center at San AntonioUSA

Personalised recommendations