The best early early indicator of student success is grade point average during the first semester in college. Student performance in courses during the first term is a better predictor than any standardized examination such as the SAT or ACT. The distribution of aggregate GPA (grade point average) of all students (not just freshman) in Fall 2013 is shown here.
An illustration of first term GPA as a predictor of student success is shown in the following figure. Here we classify success as graduation (vs failure to graduate) and estimate the probability of graduation as a function of grade point average during the first semester enrolled at CSUN. Counts are binned like a histogram of GPA and shown in the bubbles, are sized proportionally to the number of students enrolled in each bin. The dashed lines then mark a 50 percent chance of graduating eventually (not necessarily in four or six years, but ever).