Factors That Influence College Choice: Decisions of Graduate Students

Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Education (Ed.D)


Curriculum and Instruction

Date of Award

Fall 2013


Beginning in the early 1980s, reduction in the funding of education has been a trend. As a solution to the funding issue, colleges and universities have turned towards tuition to make up the deficit; therefore, a need arises to enroll more students. Marketing higher education programs has now become an integral part to raising enrollment to meet financial goals. Many studies exist on various subpopulations of graduate students whether by location or some other identifying demographic, and a need for a general national sample is documented. This study was designed to determine what factors influence prospective graduate students when making a decision as to what institution they prefer to pursue their graduate degree. Additionally, the study attempted to determine if those factors vary based on the type of institution that the prospective student has chosen to attend. The stratified random national sample was chosen from the universities listed in the Carnegie classification list, and a total of 1,584 students from 30 universities across the United States responded to the online survey. All 66 factors were ranked by importance. The top five factors were then analyzed for differences based on the type of university as established by the Carnegie Foundation.


Jon Travis

Subject Categories

Curriculum and Instruction | Education