New Study Shows What Students Really Consider When Applying for Colleges

Paying for college is almost always something incoming freshmen and their families have to consider. However, according to an annual study conducted by the University of California- Los Angeles, this concern is growing in importance.
Since the economic recession began in December 2007, students have been facing new problems and concerns. Many graduating students are unable to find jobs, and many full-time students are becoming part-time students and find part-time jobs in order to pay for their educations.
The 2009 Cooperative Institutional Research Program (CIRP) Freshman Survey study showed that 53.3 percent of college freshmen claimed to have at least “some” concern about how they would pay for their education. This is the highest percentage since 1971, and an increase of 3.9 percent since 2008.
In order to combat this new concern, 41.6 percent of freshmen said that choosing a college with a lower cost was “very important” in their decision making process. Hopefully by choosing a college with a lower cost, students can avoid the huge amount of debt that plagues most college students.
“Given that more students report taking on debt to finance college, it makes sense that employment and financial success are on the minds of this year’s entering students,” said John H. Pryor, lead author of the report. “Being well-off financially was a top goal for students last year and is even higher this year, at 78.1 percent, the highest we have seen since 1966.”
Another important issue for students was the success rate of alumni. Students prefer schools whose graduating seniors got a job shortly after graduation. This year, 56.5 percent of students ranked this factor as being “very important.”
What is the biggest deterrent for college freshmen when deciding which college to attend? Financial aid. In fact, 8.9 percent said that if they were not offered financial aid, it would greatly affect their decision.
These results are based off the responses of more than 200,000 freshmen from almost 300 colleges and universities. The CIRP Freshman Survey was created in 1966 and is the largest survey of its kind.