Students Look to Friends, Family to Help Choose a College
IOWA CITY, IowaCollege-bound students rely most heavily on parents, family and friends when it comes to developing a list of schools to consider, according to surveys conducted by consulting firm Noel-Levitz. And academic program availability is by far the most important feature they are looking for when deciding whether a college is included on their list of choices.The study is based on responses to seven separate telephone surveys, with responses from a total of 2,360 college-bound students between September 2000 and March 2001. A majority of the survey respondents said that people familiar to them assisted them in developing their initial list of schools, followed closely by high school personnel including counselors, teachers and coaches. Other resources used included college publications and college personnel. While only 12 percent of the survey respondents used the Web to develop their initial list of schools, 30 percent said they used the Web to conduct further research of possible college choices. Asked which features a school should have to be included on their list of possible colleges or universities, academic program availability was mentioned more than 50 percent of the time. And when asked to rate the importance of specific features, several items were rated as very important. These items include tuition costs, financial aid availability, scholarship opportunities, academic resources, and campus safety and security.The institution’s proximity to home factored in to the decision in approximately 20 percent of the responses. “However, the profile of who wants to be close to home differs from the profile of students who are interested in attending school far from home,” says Scott Bodfish, Noel-Levitz executive consultant.White students and students who do not plan on graduate study rate being close to home more important. Minority students and students who plan on graduate study rate being far from home more important. Also, men seem to be more willing to go to school far from home than women.
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