New survey of 21k+ students: 2022 Niche Senior Enrollment Survey: The New Normal

September 6, 2022 — PITTSBURGH — Niche, the leading platform connecting students and families with colleges and schools, today released a new survey of 21,866 students from the high school class of 2022. This is the seventh year that Niche has surveyed college bound seniors about their college search process, from the beginning of their search all the way to enrollment.

The survey covered topics such as student preferences on campus, application trends, standardized testing, campus visits and more. One consistency from last year to this year: safety remains the most important thing that students want in a campus and the community around it. Diversity in the study body, as well as faculty and staff, are also very important (84% and 81% respectively) and almost half of the students specified further that a diverse student body was a must-have feature on their campus.

“We all want to be able to see others like ourselves in whatever community we’re in, but surrounding yourself with people who bring different perspectives is critical to growing and learning,” said Will Patch, Senior Enrollment Insights Leader. “That’s why students are looking for diversity in their colleges as well, and not just their peers but the faculty and staff they’ll be working with.”

The concern that has increased rapidly in the seven years of surveying is, predictably, financial. This year 81% of respondents reported that they eliminated colleges from consideration and did not apply because of the total cost, or “sticker price.” This price sensitivity is up from 73% in 2021, 68% in 2020, and 56% pre-pandemic. Only 35% of students were confident that they could afford the college at which they had chosen to enroll.

“As college prices go up, so do the scholarships used to make it more affordable for students,” said Patch. “However, the pricing for college is so different than anything else that the majority of students are choosing to eliminate colleges from consideration based on the sticker price rather than waiting to see how much aid they receive. Every time the total cost increases, a college eliminates more potential students.”

Other takeaways from 2022 Niche Senior Enrollment Survey: The New Normal:

The 2022 survey results can be viewed in full here: 

About Niche: Niche is where students and parents choose their school. Whether a school is already on their list or the perfect fit they haven’t yet discovered, Niche connects families to the ones that are uniquely right for them. Our enrollment marketing solutions enable our over 2,000 partners to build genuine connections that nurture interest into visits, applications and enrollment. By supporting over 50 million students and parents, Niche is changing how schools and colleges connect with families and build their future classes.

Press contact:

Natalie Tsay
Senior PR Specialist