ERIC Number: ED208705
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1981
Reference Count: 0
How High School Students Select a College.
Gilmour, Joseph E., Jr.; And Others
The college selection process used by high school students was studied and a paradigm that describes the process was developed, based on marketing theory concerning consumer behavior. Primarily college freshmen and high school seniors were interviewed, and a few high school juniors and upper-level college students were surveyed to determine whether their views of the process were substantially different. In addition, six sets of parents and seven high school guidance counselors were interviewed. The college student respondents were drawn from the main campus of Pennsylvania State University and from six of its branch campuses. Findings reveal that the college selection process for study respondents fell into six phases: the decision to attend college, the development of a list of colleges, the application decision, the applications process, receipt of acceptances, and the final college choice. High school students considered the academic program, cost, location, and views of parents, guidance counselors, and alumni. It was found that the college selection process is closely intertwined with the selection of a vocation and the choice of a high school curriculum. Most respondents set their career goals first and then, based on the education required to achieve these goals, decide which high school curriculum to enter and whether or not college is needed. It was also found that the college selection process is neither well executed nor well informed. In general, students with higher Scholastic Aptitude Test scores and college-educated parents were more likely to enter each phase of the decision process earlier, and tended to be less influenced by pragmatic factors such as cost and location and more interested in the institutions' academic programs. A bibliography and sample questionnaire is appended. (SW)
Descriptors: Academic Aspiration, Career Planning, College Admission, College Applicants, College Attendance, College Bound Students, College Choice, College Students, Decision Making, Enrollment Influences, High School Seniors, High School Students, Higher Education, Institutional Characteristics, Occupational Aspiration, Student Attitudes, Student Characteristics
Publication Type: Reports - Research; Tests/Questionnaires
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers: Pennsylvania State University
Note: Not available in paper copy due to marginal legibility of original document.