Factors that Influence International Students' College Choice Decisions: Perspectives from Current International Students
Ullman, Brian T., Education - Curry School of Education, University of Virginia
Pusser, Brian, Curry School of Education, University of Virginia
Prospective international students who aspire to American higher education stand at the confluence of two vast and complex arenas: college choice and internationalization. The purpose of this study is to learn more about how international undergraduate students in American higher education selected the college or university they attend and to explore how their experience in American higher education influences the factors that they consider important for prospective international students engaged in the college choice process.
This study assesses the extent to which the degree of importance ascribed to these factors varies according to key demographic variables and whether there are differences between (1) which factors influenced the college choice decisions of international undergraduate students in U.S. higher education and (2) which factors those same students think are important for prospective international undergraduate students to consider when making college choice decisions.
A total of 134 international undergraduate students, enrolled at nine institutions in the U.S., completed the survey instrument, which used Likert-type scales ranging from 1 (not important) to 5 (very important) to gauge factors’ importance. The study’s findings suggest that the preeminent factors in previous college choice research remain preeminent in the college choice decisions of today’s undergraduate international students. Undergraduate international students who are not satisfied with their college choice decisions, as a group, appear to base their college choice decisions on the same factors as undergraduate international students who are satisfied with their college choice decisions. Undergraduate international students who attended high school in the U.S. appear to base their college choice decisions on the same factors as undergraduate international students who did not attend high school in the U.S. Undergraduate international students’ experiences in American higher education shape what they think should be important for prospective international students to consider when making college choice decisions.
PHD (Doctor of Philosophy)
higher education, international students, college choice
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