Question of the Day: Reputation, Price or Location? Which factor is most important to high school students picking a college?

Mar 13, 2018
Paying for College, Parent Conversations, Student Loans, Behavioral Finance

Answer: Location (28%), Reputation (20%) and Price (7.5%)


  • What are the most important factors to YOU in selecting a college? Rank them from most to least important. Explain your answer.
  • Why do you think that so few people actually consider price? 
  • Do you think if more people considered price that it would have an impact on the cost of college? Why or why not? 

Click here for the ready-to-go slides for this Question of the Day that you can use in your classroom.

Behind the numbers (from CNBC):

Researchers are working to understand why people land at one college over another. Not too many people, it turns out, make their decision based on price. Just 7.5 percent selected a school because it was affordable, according to the Strada-Gallup Education Consumer Survey. (Last year, more than 85,000 people ages 18 to 65 were interviewed.)

Location is the most common major reason students choose a school, with 28 percent of respondents listing it as such. School reputation and fit was a deciding factor for another 20 percent, while 19 percent said they landed at their school because they believed it would lead to a good job or career. Another 5 percent chose their college because they received financial aid or scholarships.


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About the Author

Danielle Bautista

Danielle is a native of Southern California and a recent graduate from the University of Maine, where she braved the frigid winters—a feat in and of itself—and earned her Bachelor's degree in International Affairs. She has a passion for working with non-profit organizations, as well as connecting students of all ages with the education they deserve. Her last job as an intern at Ventura County Government Center helped her fine tune the organizational skills necessary in order to be a valuable asset to NGPF. When Danielle isn't writing NGPF blog posts or working on various projects, you can find her raving about the movie she most recently watched, learning a new hobby, or cracking what she thinks are witty puns!