Down Economy Still Shaping College Enrollment, Consulting Firm Says

Two years after the depth of the Great Recession, the economy is still a major factor in college-enrollment decisions, according to a new survey by Concord, Mass.-based Maguire Associates and

Nearly one-third of high school seniors who did not enroll in their first-choice college said the main reason was that they could not afford it, according to the survey of 2,400 high school seniors conducted as a follow-up to the annual College Decision Impact Survey done in January .

The follow-up survey reveals that two of the most important reasons students enrolled at their chosen college were financial: “scholarship or financial assistance” (43%) and “total costs” (41%). The most important factor was “quality of major” (45%).

Many students reported they didn’t receive the amount of student aid they were hoping for, and one in five seniors appealed the initial aid offer from the college where they ultimately enrollment.

Fully one-third of those who preferred a public education, but ultimately enrolled in a private school, appealed the initial aid package offered by the college they chose, and nearly half of them received more aid from their enrollment schools as a result.

Conversely, one in five “switchers” to public institutions appealed their offers from their enrollment schools, and nearly one-third of this group were successful in getting additional aid.


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