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A Study of College Selection Criteria as Applied to Three Small Rural Community Colleges in North Texas

Description: The purposes of this study were to identify criteria which influence students' decisions to attend specific colleges and to determine whether different groups of students use similar criteria. The following groups were compared: white students and minority students, males and females, older students and younger students, university-bound students and vocational students, and full-time students and part-time students. The sample used for this study was taken from the students enrolled in freshman English classes at Vernon Regional Junior College, Clarendon College, and Grayson County College. Approximately 100 students at each college were selected to participate in the study. Each student in the study received instruction, provided demographic information, and completed a two-part survey. The survey asked respondents to evaluate each of twenty items on a Likert-type scale. The data provided were compiled and organized into groups by a data base computer program. Data obtained from specific groups of respondents were compared, first through an examination of means, then through a chi-square test of independence. It was determined that the most important college selection criteria to these respondents were the cost of attendance, the availability of specific programs, the size of the college, the size of individual classes, the location of the school, and the availability of financial aid. Further, the research revealed that two comparison groups differed significantly in their choices of important college selection criteria. Younger students appeared to use different selection criteria than their older counterparts, and vocational students differed from university-bound students in their choice of criteria.
Date: August 1989
Creator: Whitt, Jerry W.