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Factors Influencing Freshmen Students' College Choice at the University of North Texas: a Focus Group Study

Description: This study focused on factors that may influence freshmen students when choosing their colleges, specifically those who attend metropolitan universities such as the University of North Texas. In addition to identifying major characteristics of the institution that attract students, it also explored the sources of information that students considered important when making their choice about where to attend college. The primary instrument for gathering the data was focus groups. These informal, small groups provided a format for in-depth discussion and probing questioning about the needs, wants and influential factors driving freshmen college choice. Ten focus groups were held with between six and ten students in a specially designed room on the campus of the University of North Texas. A professional moderator was employed and sessions were observed via a two-way mirror and tape recorded for later transcription. The major questions addressed in the focus groups included: What factors influenced students the most to attend the University of North Texas? What did they consider the level of friendliness on campus? And how did the marketing materials that the university distributed impact their decision to attend? The study found that the factors that most influenced freshmen to attend the University of North Texas were low cost, convenient location and the good academic reputation of their field of study. Students believed North Texas to have a very friendly campus and were pleased with the overall academic environment. They were not, however, impressed or greatly influenced by the marketing materials currently being used by the University and suggested ways to improve the design and distribution of these materials to make them more effective. Additional observations were made concerning these and related questions. A partial transcription of the focus group sessions is included.
Date: August 1997
Creator: Armstrong, Jami J. (Jami Joi)

Participation in Student Financial Aid Programs during the Freshman Year and Persistence in a Private University

Description: The study determined the overall persistence rate of first-time full-time entrants into a mid-sized private university during the fall semesters 1989 to 1991 to the 2nd year (1990 to 1992). The study compared the retention rate of recipients and nonrecipients of a variety of financial aid programs. Included is a comparison of groups receiving various types of financial assistance and whether or not there are differences between the groups with respect to types of assistance, gender, ethnicity (African American, Hispanic, Anglo), high school grade point average, and national test scores (SAT, ACT). The types of assistance studied were categorized by academic scholarships, university-operated student employment, need-based grants, activity awards, entitlements, and loans. The question of whether renewal, elimination, or reduction in assistance relates to retention was also studied.
Date: August 1997
Creator: Munson, Leo W.