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Top 3 Reasons for a Student’s Choice of Institution

  • Academic Reputation
  • Job Placement
  • Cost (Tuition, Fees, Financial Aid)

Academic Reputation

An institution’s academic reputation is the most important factor in a student’s choice of enrollment. According to the American Educational Research Association, college’s receive more applications when they show up in independent organization’s college rankings. The study concluded that, “Changes in academic and quality-of-life reputations affect the number of applications received by a college and the academic competitiveness and geographic diversity of the ensuing incoming freshman class.”

Job Placement

Students researching colleges say that the college’s graduates job placement is “very important” when considering a college. Finding good job placement after college can be difficult. Colleges with higher job placement rates can be a good indication of the college’s ability to help place graduates with companies before (internships) and after graduation.

College is becoming harder to Afford

While the average median income for Americans’ has only risen by less than 2% in the past 30 years, in-state tuition has increased by 77% [3]. This discrepancy is making it harder and harder for college students to afford college costs.


Financial Aid to the Rescue

According to recent studies [1], incoming freshman deciding on a college are heavily influenced by the institution’s financial aid [2] more than the cost and the trend is rising.

The trends regarding the role of financial aid and college costs in students’ choice of institution should signal to institutions that they must “continue their efforts to simultaneously constrain costs and craft financial aid packages that adequately address students’ financial needs.”