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J Appl Psychol. 2000 Jun;85(3):399-406.

College grade point average as a personnel selection device: ethnic group differences and potential adverse impact.

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  • 1Department of Management, College of Business and Public Policy, Clemson University, South Carolina 29634-1305, USA.


College grade point average (GPA) is often used in a variety of ways in personnel selection. Unfortunately, there is little empirical research literature in human resource management that informs researchers or practitioners about the magnitude of ethnic group differences and any potential adverse impact implications when using cumulative GPA for selection. Data from a medium-sized university in the Southeast (N = 7,498) indicate that the standardized average Black-White difference for cumulative GPA in the senior year is d = 0.78. The authors also conducted analyses at 3 GPA screens (3.00, 3.25, and 3.50) to demonstrate that employers (or educators) might face adverse impact at all 3 levels if GPA continues to be implemented as part of a selection system. Implications and future research are discussed.

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