Multiple and specific academic performance criteria were used to examine the predictive validity of the Big Five personality traits. One hundred thirty-three students in a college of higher learning in The Netherlands participated in a naturally occurring field study. The results of the NEO-FFI were correlated with grades on five different learning criteria: classroom lectures, skills training, team projects, on-the-job training, and a written thesis. Results show that Conscientiousness is an important predictor for performance in higher education, regardless of which performance criterion was used, and that Neuroticism is positively related to performance when the assessment conditions are less stressful. © 2009 Elsevier Inc.