Why Do Students Choose the Schools They Do?

Why Do Students Choose the Schools They Choose?

Shortly after graduating high school, graduates are finally met with their first taste of freedom. They have just completed their required school and have the freedom to choose where they go from here. 

After spending the majority of their lives since the age of six in school, some graduates may feel inclined to skip going to college or university or even take a gap year before jumping back into it.


For others, high school graduation is just one step on the journey of continuing their education. Many students graduating high school already have plans to attend college in the upcoming fall. But why is this? They’ve spent their entire lives in school up to this point and choose to continue their education for another two to seven years, depending on their course of study. What drives these students forward?

Why Do Students Enroll?

Over the past couple of years following the Covid-19 pandemic, enrollment numbers have steadily declined. Fewer high school graduates are deciding to enroll in colleges just after graduation. 

But what about the students that are going to college? Why are they deciding to attend?

According to an Ellucian survey

  • 62% of students surveyed enrolled in college to improve their job prospects
  • 57% enrolled because they wanted to learn about a specific field of study
  • 51% enrolled to complete requirements for future education programs or professions

Alternatively, the same survey stated that: 
“On the employer side, only a third of entry-level, salaried jobs require a college degree and a quarter of employers will accept credentials in place of a degree. And when asked whether a degree attained or a credential was a better measure of a candidate’s value, recruiters were evenly split.”

In the face of increased competition for a dwindling number of students, how can colleges and universities stand out to potential students? Especially at a time when just a third of entry-level positions require college degrees?

What Makes a University Stand Out When Applying?

Many concerns go through the minds of potential students when trying to find the perfect college for themselves. They consider cost, distance from home, and even size before visiting the college itself. 

According to a Concordia College article, the top three factors for potential students choosing a college are perspective, internship opportunities, and safety. 

Perspective. After visiting a college or university, potential students want to feel like they belong. A school that understands what they need makes students feel comfortable and welcomed. Even without regard to opportunities, programs, and scholarships, this sense of belonging is important to students who want to feel at home when they attend college. 

They want to feel like they’re a part of something greater than themselves in a place where they “fit”. 

Internship opportunities. Internships are always good ways to get your foot in the door in a field you want to be a part of. A school that has a wide variety of successful internships will allow students to follow their passions and give them opportunities to land their first job right out of college. 

Safety. Safety is not only important to the student who will be leaving home to live in a new area, but also extremely important to their parents. Students, and especially their parents, will feel most safe attending college when they know that it will be a safe environment to learn and grow. 

It makes sense for students to choose the college or university they feel most comfortable and safe in while also offering a good range of internship opportunities. 

But how can a college or university know where they need to improve their marketing to even begin to appeal to potential students? 

It all starts with data. 

How Can Data Help Maximize Your Enrollment Potential?

The great thing about data is that it can show you just about anything you want to know - as long as you know what you’re asking. But if you don't know the right questions to ask, new technologies like data lakehouses can ensure that you always have the information you need to find solutions to difficult problems. Even problems you didn't even know you had! 

Data can help colleges understand why students chose them and even which students should be targeted for potential marketing strategies that highlight the key values of your institution. Data can even show how different cohorts of potential students are reacting to marketing strategies, and can suggest ways to better reach these specific students. 

Here at Invoke Learning we specialize in solving the most challenging problems. With our array of solutions Invoke Learning is prepared to help you improve operations and support student success like never before. 

Our InvokeClarity™ solution offers the advanced data lakehouse for higher education. This allows colleges and universities to incorporate the next generation of data technology into their data management systems within minutes. 

Our InvokeEnrollment™ solution allows colleges and universities to ask these difficult questions of, what messages resonate best with different student cohorts?, which devices are leading to the best engagement?, or even how are students reacting to us on social media? 

All of these questions and more can be answered with the help of Invoke Learning. To learn more about InvokeClarity™, InvokeEnrollment™ and more Invoke Learning solutions check out our website HERE.