2020 Niche Senior Survey: College Search to Enrollment

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2020 Niche Senior Survey: College Search to Enrollment

This was the 5th year in which Niche has surveyed students to learn more about their search and decisions. This year’s survey was responded to by 18,739 students. It’s interesting to note that 66.8% of respondents were domestic students of color, which differs from 39.9% of the US population, and the most recent IPEDS data showing 49.7% of enrolled college students were domestic students of color. This year, we strove to improve the reporting of race and ethnicity by offering more options, as detailed by the Southeast Asia Resource Action Center “Everyone Deserves to Be Seen” policy brief among other resources.

Some of the results covered in the white paper:

  • COVID-19 – Half of students’ decisions were impacted, low-income students felt it the most
  • Changes in Visits and Events – Campus visits are down, but students are still positive about virtual experiences
  • The Modal (most frequent) Student – 2016-19 was the same demographic and 2020 has completely changed
  • Affordability and Financial Aid – Student borrowing is up and confidence is down
  • Student Confidence – Students still confident in graduating on time and getting a job after college

Interactive Visualizations

Student funnel engagements

Student Confidence Levels

Financing Their Education

Challenges Faced by Students

Student Satisfaction Levels

Important Characteristics Considered by Students

Resources Used When Deciding Where to Enroll

Effect of COVID-19 on College Search

Student Social Media and App Usage

Standardized Test Score Information

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Will Patch

Prior to coming to Niche in 2019 Will served 9 years at Manchester University in roles as an Admissions Counselor, Associate Director for Admissions Operations, Social Media Coordinator, and ultimately as Digital Strategist. Will surfaces tactical insights from user behavior and surveys to help higher ed build recruitment strategies. In addition to the Enrollment Insights blog, webinars, and podcast; Will is a frequent conference speaker and podcast guest. He has presented at NACAC, AACRAO-SEM, AMA Higher Ed, CASE V, EduWeb, and EMA. Will's work has been featured in Forbes, Inside Higher Ed, CNBC, CNN, the LA Times, and The New York Times among other outlets.

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