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How Do Students Select a College to Attend?

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How Do Students Select a College to Attend?

It is the season of high school graduations where students are closing one chapter of their lives and starting the next.  For many, the next chapter takes them on to college. But how do they choose a school? In a recent survey, we asked our student panel of more than 24,000 college students to reflect on the process they took in selecting their institution. Here is what they had to say.

Majority of students do not select a school on a whim.  In fact, most spend a couple of years researching, visiting, and applying before making the big decision.

By the time students have entered their senior year of high school, the majority have started their initial college search, with a quarter of students starting the search before their junior year. Top sources used when deciding on an institution were the school’s website, campus tour, and parents/family. When searching for schools, more than two-thirds of students listed the cost, specific majors/programs, location, and distance from home among their top consideration factors.

On average, students considered about six institutions but only applied to three.  Less than half of students (41%) ended up attending their first choice institution, while 29% decided on their second choice. The top two reasons students ended up not attending their first choice were the cost to attend (39%) and not being accepted into the school (23%).

The time spent researching is apparently paying off as 91% of students indicated they are satisfied with their current institution. 

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