Talent and strong high school achievement can propel young black men to college, butfinds their grit—the determination and ability to handle setbacks—is nearly as critical to their success at majority-white campuses.
Released this month in an online preview for the Journal of African American Studies, the study by Terrell L. Strayhorn, an associate professor of education at Ohio State University, found that grit was nearly as predictive as ACT college-entrance-exam scores of the college success of young black men who attended mostly white universities.
Mr. Strayhorn tracked 140 mostly first-generation college students at a large public university. He found that those who scored higher on an eight-item measure of grit earned higher course grades after taking into account prior achievement, age, transfer status, and school engagement, among other factors.
A version of this article appeared in the April 24, 2013 edition of Education Week as Student Resilience