Maria C. Rose

Date of Graduation


Document Type



More nontraditional students are attending college, and many of these students are enrolled with GED certification. The validity using GED certification as postsecondary admission criteria has been questioned. Participants included 251 students enrolled with GED certification as admission criteria to a small Mid-Atlantic college in the Spring 1997 semester. The influence of ACT, GED, literacy scores, learning and study skills, and the number of successfully completed developmental classes on grade point averages was researched. Students were interviewed to gain insight into students' perceptions of factors contributing to persistence in college. ACT scores were found to be good predictors of grade point averages, but GED scores were not as reliable; the literacy level of the participants fell within the moderate range of literacy. Many participants lacked necessary study and learning skills to succeed in college; developmental classes contributed to college persistence. Participants identified many financial, social, academic, and literacy factors that contributed to postsecondary persistence. Financial aid programs contributed to decisions to attend and remain in college; most students were in college to increase job prospects. Self-esteem was improved with college success, and college personnel, family, and friends influenced student persistence in college. Most participants were enrolled in two-year programs, but they hoped to enroll in four-year programs if they have continued academic success. Students had a mean 2.5 GPA at the end of the semester; only 27% of the participants did not return the next semester. Multiple intervention strategies are needed for GED students to persist in the postsecondary setting.