Check out Ascend to create a classroom culture that reinforces a growth mindset. Learn more!

Many students worry that they lack the ability to master college-level coursework, no matter what they do. Some fear, “I’m just not a math person.” Left unaddressed, such fears can become self-fulfilling prophecies that feed a destructive cycle of reduced motivation and performance that ends in dropping out.

However, research shows that colleges can boost retention—particularly for students from historically underrepresented groups—by helping students develop a growth mindset: the belief that they can improve their academic abilities through effective study strategies.

About the Program

Short, Simple

This 30-minute online program includes survey questions, short reading passages, and brief reflection exercises. Students will learn:

  • Scientific evidence showing that the brain is malleable.
  • Specific behaviors that can increase abilities over time.
  • Importance of effective study strategies.


Rigorously tested since 2010 in multiple randomized controlled trials with thousands of college students. Findings include:

  • 4% point increase in continuous, full-time enrollment after a semester among Black, Latinx, and first-generation college students when tested in a 4-year college.
  • 5% point increase in transfer, graduation, and continued enrollment after 2 years when tested across several community colleges.


We’re thrilled to bring you Growth Mindset for College Students as an open enrollment program, and we want to involve as many eligible colleges as possible.

We’re offering our programs for free to eligible colleges thanks to our generous funders.

How It Works

1. Learn & Discuss

Review the Program Information Packet to learn how participation works.

2. Sign-up

Create a user account and prepare to participate using our online platform.

3. Participate

Students complete a 30-minute online module during new student orientation or a first year experience class.

4. Track Impact

See which students completed the program, and, if desired, compare with engagement metrics and academic outcomes.

Information Packet

Review the Program Information Packet to learn more about the research and how to run Growth Mindset for College Students at your college.

Review Now

Have additional questions? Review our FAQ!

Supporting Resources

In addition to the Program Information Packet, the following resources include a marketing brochure, an implementation summary, as well as sample program materials like facilitator instructions and a student communication.

Ready to get started?

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The Project for Education Research That Scales (PERTS) is a nonprofit research and development institute that translates insights from psychological science into cutting-edge tools, measures, and recommendations that educators anywhere can use to foster healthy and equitable academic engagement and success. We are so excited to bring you Growth Mindset for College Students and to make the latest research on growth mindset strategies actionable to every college in the United States.

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