Have you ever wondered what criteria prospective and current students use to determine which school is best for them? There are literally hundreds of different criteria that students may use to determine which school to attend. However, a recent survey by Chegg asked nearly 1,500 college or soon-to-be college students what are the most important criterion for determining which school to attend (Hopkins, pg. 1). The answers are as follows:
- Net price.
- Overall ability of graduates to repay their student loans.
- Percentage of graduates working within their field of study one and five years after graduation.
It is not surprising that net price is one of the most important criterions. College is expensive. There are many ways to try and offset some of the costs associated with college, but finding a solid school that offers lower tuition and fewer fees is a great start. Universities that administer Federal Student Aid are required by law to provide pricing information that is available to any prospective or current student.
Another pressing concern is the ability of graduates to pay back their student loans. A school that has a high default rate not only will suffer legal consequences, but it could show a lack of commitment to default prevention. Students want to know that there are dedicated financial advisors at their school that will provide them with the best information and options.
The third criterion that many prospective students feel is important is some sense of job availability after graduation. The main reason anyone goes to college is to obtain a degree in an effort to improve employment potential. Obviously, some schools have more prestige than others, and those schools probably have higher job placement than less-known schools. However, remember this: A good employer is not hiring you based on what school you went to; rather, they are hiring you based on what type of worker you are!
A future source that could be a major resource for prospective college students is Obama’s proposed rating system. The Obama administration just recently released a “first draft” for this project, and it will be subject to change over the next year or so. Still, this will serve as a great resource when it actually is released. More information on this subject is sure to come in the future!
Hopkins, Katy (2015). “3 College Rating System Metrics Students Say They Want.” NASFAA.
By Ryan Laspina
Senior Specialist, Red Flags and External Reviews at APUS