Question of the Day (Updated): What factors are most important to students in picking a college [during Covid]?

Nov 04, 2020
Question of the Day, Paying for College

Answer: Cost of Attendance and Distance from Home

[these factors caused students to alter their first-choice university the most]

Here are some great follow-up questions to ask your students about this resource:

  1. Were any of these reasons on the list surprising to you? Why or why not?
  2. Are there any reasons you think are missing from this list?
  3. If a friend was deciding where to go to college, what would be some of the reasons you would tell them? Why would you emphasize these particular points?

Want this resource and questions in slide format to use in class? Click here!


Behind the numbers (McKinsey):

"Since January 2020, just over one-fifth of students have changed their first-choice school, citing cost and location as their top reasons for doing so.

Of those students, 44 percent reported wanting to attend a school with a lower cost of attendance, 30 percent wanted to stay closer to home, and 26 percent wanted to avoid a COVID-19 hotspot at their first-choice school’s location. Indeed, we found that students choosing an in-state, public institution increased by ten percentage points.

Moreover, an analysis of distance between chosen schools and students’ reported home zip codes found that students choosing an institution located within 50 miles from home increased by 11 percentage points, while students choosing to attend an institution located more than 500 miles from home decreased by seven percentage points."


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About the Author

Mason Butts

After graduating from UCLA with a Master's in Education, Mason spent 5 years as a science educator in a South Los Angeles public high school. He is committed to supporting the holistic growth of all students and empowering them to live a life of relational, academic, and financial success. Now settled in the Bay Area, Mason enjoys facilitating professional developments and partnering with educators as they prepare students for a bright financial future. When Mason is not building curriculum or planning a training, he can be found cycling, trying new foods, and exploring the outdoors.