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Insight Paper

College Search Trends Across Space and Time

Contextualizing your place in higher ed's shifting landscape

Plotting an effective enrollment strategy for your institution depends on gaining a clear understanding of the key forces shaping higher education markets, not just at the national level but specifically as they apply to schools like yours. This insight paper presents new research that delves into the deeper college search trends in student inquiries, applications, and enrollments among first-time undergraduates at four-year institutions.

We explore the interplay of various factors influencing these trends, providing regional, demographic, and institutional context and insights to help you navigate the changing educational landscape effectively. These insights will guide you in framing the right questions to position your institution within a field of possibilities tailored to your unique circumstances—an essential foundation for crafting an effective enrollment strategy.

This exploration spans different geographic scales and market segments as outlined below:

  1. Geographic region: Nationwide, across five distinct regions, and by state
  2. Underlying demographics: College-age population, college-going rate, and student gender
  3. Institutional selectivity: Admission rates above or below 65%
  4. Institutional sector: Public versus private not-for-profit

Download the Insight Paper

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