College Decisions Survey: Deciding to Go to College

Posted by New America on July 13, 2015

Today, New America’s Education Policy Program released the second in a series of College Decisions Survey briefs that analyze new survey data about what prospective college students know about the college-going and financing process. Part Two: The Application Process focuses on how students go about researching and applying to colleges. It looks at the number and type of schools and programs applied to and the search behaviors of prospective students.

With more than 7,500 colleges and universities in America, students have several options to choose from depending on a variety of factors such as price, location, and programs offered. So how do prospective students go about the process of applying to colleges? According to an online survey of 1,011 U.S. residents ages 16-40, who were largely prospective college students (with the remainder in their first semester of college), a majority of prospective students (60 percent) plan to apply to more than two colleges, and about three-quarters (76 percent) had already started their search. The survey was commissioned by New America and conducted by Harris Poll in October-November of 2014.

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