National Collegiate Honors Council


Date of this Version



Published in Honors in Practice: A Publication of the National Collegiate Honors Council, Volume 11 (2015)


Copyright © 2015 by the National Collegiate Honors Council.


In the field of college success and retention, researchers have examined school facilities, grade point averages, SAT scores, high school grades, and student involvement among other variables (Aitken). One of the additional variables that has been examined is how happiness affects college success. According to Shawn Achor’s 2010 book, The Happiness Advantage, “happiness is the joy we feel in striving for our potential” (17). In the research, happiness has been examined as a trait with which the students may arrive on campus or that they develop while there (Aitken). In either case, the matter of student happiness is of primary importance to teachers and administrators in honors, who work closely with gifted students who may be at high risk for stress and depression.