The Perceptions of College Students Regarding the Factors Most Influential in Their Decision to Attend Postsecondary Education

The nation's demographics among the college-age population are shifting dramatically. The number of racial/ethnic minorities in this age group is increasing, while the overall college-age population is decreasing. Counterintuitively, such shifts have not been educationally advantageous to college-age minorities. A strong body of evidence demonstrates that a low proportion of young minority students attain their educational goals.

Why do some students choose to attend college while others don't? Decades of research assert the importance of the influence of a parent with college experience. However, there is still a void in the understanding of college predisposition among students who will be the first in their families to attend college.

This article examines the interactions that may contribute to the choice to attend college. More specifically, the study answered the following research questions: (1) What factors are most important in student choice to attend college; and (2) Is there a difference in these factors of college choice based upon ethnic identification?

This article was published in College and University, vol. 78, no. 4.