Insights from the Cappex College Considerations Report
The 2016 Cappex College Considerations Report identifies new insights about how high school students choose their colleges.
The report analyzes college search behavior by more than one million high school freshmen, sophomores, juniors and seniors.
Key findings include:
- Name recognition seems to influence college popularity during the freshman year in high school, but to a lesser extent in later years.
- The most selective colleges drop in popularity as the senior year approaches, perhaps because high school juniors and seniors become more realistic about their chances of admission.
- The mix of the most popular colleges shifts toward in-state colleges in the senior year, perhaps because students prefer colleges that are closer to home.
- Within each geographic region, 85 percent or more of the top 20 most popular colleges are from within the region, except in the Plains states, where 35 percent are from outside the region.
- Public colleges outnumber private colleges among the top 20 colleges in the senior year, both nationally and in regional and state data.
- College rankings, such as the U.S. News & World Report National University Rankings, have less of an impact on student preferences in the junior and senior years in high school.