Social Media and the College Choice Process

Grant Winners

  • Whitney Lehmann, Ph.D. – College of Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences
  • Elizabeth Brennan, Ed.D. – University School

Dean

  • Honggang Yang, Ph.D. – College of Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences

Abstract

​This study will use both quantitative and qualitative methods to determine the perceived influence of social media on University School students' college search and choice. A quantitative online survey of approximately 400 junior and senior students and their parents will explore how social media is used by both prospective college students and their parents during the application and enrollment phases of the college choice, as well as the perceived influence of different types of social media. The survey will also explore the perceived influence of social media compared to other information sources, such as websites, campus tours and others, and will seek to determine the largest enrollment drivers for college-bound students, including tuition, parents, friends, scholarships, acceptance packages and more. The online survey will be followed up with focus groups with students and parents to find out why certain types of social media and enrollment drivers are perceived as more influential than others while also learning how colleges and universities can better engage prospective students and parents on their social media presences.