ERIC Number: ED333854
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 1990-May
Reference Count: N/A
College Choice: Understanding Student Enrollment Behavior. ERIC Digest.
Paulsen, Michael B.
This digest summarizes in a question and answer format a full length report of the same title. It addresses trends in college student enrollment patterns with an emphasis on behavior underlying student choice of college. Demographic changes and cuts in important sources of student financial aid brought significant enrollment declines to higher education in the 1980s. Colleges responded by engaging in market oriented activities intended to attract students while students became more like academic shoppers, preferring vocational, occupational, or professional courses over courses in the traditional arts and sciences. Understanding these student choice behaviors are important so that institutions can enhance their enrollment planning activities and student marketing and recruitment activities. Researchers in psychology, sociology, and economics have done most studies of enrollment behavior. Enrollment effects of changes in the economy are often complex with different results for different levels of society. Understanding individual enrollment behavior can help enrollment managers tailor and target their college's marketing mix of programs, prices, and places. The college search and application phase is important because it is in this phase that students eliminate most colleges from consideration. Colleges can better manage enrollment in the selection and attendance phase by recruiting students consistent with the characteristics of the college or by adjusting the college characteristics to match the characteristics of the desired students. (Included are 9 references.) (Author/JB)
Descriptors: College Applicants, College Choice, Declining Enrollment, Economic Climate, Enrollment, Enrollment Influences, Enrollment Trends, Higher Education, Institutional Characteristics, Student Characteristics, Student Recruitment
ASHE-ERIC Higher Education Reports, ERIC Clearinghouse on Higher Education, One Dupont Circle, Suite 630, Washington, DC 20036-1183. ($1.00 each).
Publication Type: ERIC Publications; ERIC Digests in Full Text
Education Level: N/A
Audience: Administrators; Policymakers; Practitioners
Sponsor: Office of Educational Research and Improvement (ED), Washington, DC.
Authoring Institution: Association for the Study of Higher Education.; ERIC Clearinghouse on Higher Education, Washington, DC.; George Washington Univ., Washington, DC. School of Education and Human Development.