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The majority of college students do not read assigned academic materials. This becomes a problem, as long-term mastery and performance outcomes decrease when students merely memorize the material for a test. The goal of this randomized experimental study was to examine the effect of an instrumental statement (designed to help students see the value of reading an academic article by connecting the value of the article to their assumed future goal of graduation) on academic reading engagement (i.e., participants choosing to read an academic article and passing a comprehension quiz). Participants included 213 undergraduate students who were randomly assigned to either a treatment or control condition. Data were analyzed in a series of binary logistic regression analyses. The intervention was found to successfully predict academic reading engagement (p < .05). Only participants with a high-connectedness score (of the four FTP constructs) were found to predict academic reading engagement (p = .001). Together the intervention and high-connectedness score are statistically significant (p < .001) in predicting academic reading engagement. Practical implications are discussed.