Student Research Projects

How Great the Influence?

Student Catherine Schweitzer, '16
Faculty Mentor(s)
Department Social Sciences
Course Sociology 350: Introduction to Social Research

Abstract

\"The purpose of this study was to explore positive and negative factors that were influential on a student\'s decision to enroll in college. Using convenience sampling, a survey was given out to 50 students who attend a small southeastern private college. The survey questioned participants about the positive factors that led to their decision to enroll in college, as well as whether they had any doubts. Questions that were asked included home structure and support, school environment and support, and other societal influences such as employment and non-school extracurricular activities. Results from descriptive and bivariate analyses tests concluded that there were not as many significantly influential factors on a student’s decision to enroll in college, as was expected by the authors. However, when asked to identify who or what was the most influential factor, 70% of the respondents stated that family was dominant. With regard to reasons for doubting college attendance, 48% indicated financial factors as the key cause. Results from this study did not support many of the findings from previous research, possibly as a result of the small, convenience type sample, and private status of the college. Yet, some insight was gained into what positive and negative factors can influence a student\'s intentions in attending a post-secondary institution, as well as how these factors can play a significant role in future implications for students.