Enrollment Insights Blog

2021 Niche Senior Survey: College Search to Enrollment

These results are from the high school class of 2021. If you’re looking for the most up-to-date survey results, find them here.

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2021 Niche Senior Survey | College Search to Enrollment

This was the sixth year conducting the Niche Senior Survey, and completed responses were received from 19,277 students from the class of 2021. In total, there were 26,103 responses but students who had not made their college decision yet were disqualified since the focus is on the process of search through committed enrollment. The survey was sent to high school seniors who had registered a profile on the Niche platform. The survey was open from May 7 to June 20, 2021, to allow students time after the May 1 deadline used by some institutions.

A Few Key Results:

  • 52% of students are confident that they can afford the college that they’ve chosen to enroll at, a sharp rise from the uncertainty of last year’s 32%. This is still students’ biggest concern, however.
  • The total published cost continues to be a deterrent for students. This year 73% of students eliminated colleges from consideration because of the published cost. Only just over half of students said they would consider applying to a college whose cost was over $30,000.
  • The fastest-growing challenge for students is the lack of school counseling support. In 2019 only 11% reported this being a challenge, and this year 20% of students said that lack of a counselor was a challenge they faced.
  • 79% of students who had a first-choice college reported that they were accepted to it.
  • 60% of students report being unable to visit any or many campuses this year, an increase from 52% last year.

Interactive Visualizations

Below are six pages of data that can be filtered and engaged with to learn more about your student subsets. Once you have your desired filtering you can download the results as a PDF using the button at the bottom.

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.