Over the past 20 years, changes in the U.S. economy have raised the stakes for educational attainment, resulting in dire economic consequences for workers without a high school diploma and some college education. American adolescents have responded by dramatically increasing their educational aspirations; almost all high school students in the U.S. now say they expect to go to college. Recent research on noncognitive factors has not only suggested their importance for student academic performance but has also been used to argue that social investments in the development of these noncognitive factors would yield high payoffs in improved educational outcomes as well as reduced racial/ethnic and gender disparities in school performance and educational attainment.