Today, prospective students have more postsecondary options to consider than ever. At the same time, a growing skepticism of the value of a college degree means that potential students want to know what return they can expect on a higher education investment. To build an informed and effective enrollment strategy, higher education leaders must understand these changing prospective student perceptions.
In August 2023, Hanover Research surveyed nearly 1,000 high school students, ages 16 to 19, across the United States to examine what factors are important to them when considering where to apply and enroll in college, as well as if they plan to attend at all.
Download Hanover’s 2023 National Prospective Student Survey Report to learn which factors are affecting potential students’ college choices right now, including their:
- Top barriers to enrollment
- Degree and program interests
- Learning format and scheduling preferences
- College application considerations
- First-year expectations
- Preferences for communicating with institutions
“Many prospective students continue to express doubt about their level of preparation for college. Only 37% feel very or extremely prepared to enter a higher education institution.”
Reducing Higher Education Barriers to Enrollment
Most traditional-age prospective students say they want to earn a degree and have a typical on-campus experience, but they are daunted by the task of paying for it, managing the academic pressures, and they aren’t willing to travel as far from home to get it.
While this may seem to paint a dim picture of the future of higher education enrollment, institutions can also use this knowledge to their advantage. The national survey findings in our report will help your institution gain a deeper understanding of what prospective students see as opportunities, barriers, and concerns about pursuing higher education in a post-pandemic world.
Applying these insights to your institution will lay the groundwork for attracting more students by speaking to their specific interests and keeping them engaged by addressing their priority needs.