HigherEdMorning.comChoosing A College Or A Major, 1 Factor Plays Key Role

Choosing A College Or A Major, 1 Factor Plays Key Role

April 26, 2011 by Geneva Reid
Posted in: Finances, Special Report


How are today’s students deciding which colleges to attend, what to major in, and whether they’ll stick it out for four years? A new poll points to the most influential factor. It probably won’t come as a surprise that money plays a major role in the world of higher education.

Maybe in a gentler (i.e. less economically strapped) era, a student’s success in college was determined mostly by their academic abilities.

Not anymore.

Most college students say their choice of college was determined in large part by how much a school cost, according an Associate Press-Viacom poll.

More than half the college students surveyed say they’re looking for an education that’ll help them succeed once they’re out of school – as opposed to coursework that focuses on enhancing their general education.

And, in fact, 90% say they expect to find work in their field.

Another interesting stat: 86% say it makes sense to switch majors if you’re not completely satisfied with what your school is offering. And 33% say they added another major to increase their marketability.

Money is also the motivating factor behind a student’s decision to drop out, according to the poll.

While dropping out due to financial woes is the extreme end of the spectrum, 40% of the students polled say they plan to graduate in less than four years.

Why the rush? The faster they can get out of college, the sooner they can stop spending and start earning.

Do you think our colleges and universities are responding to the financial constraints students are experiencing? Let us know in the comments section below.

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