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Insight Paper

Recruiting ‘Gen P’

6 insights into how the pandemic has altered college search behavior from EAB’s survey of 20,000+ students

Exploring the pandemic’s lasting impacts on student behavior

During the most intense phases of the pandemic, student search behaviors changed dramatically in response to high school and college closures, fears about health and safety, and increased financial hardships for families. With a full cycle of in-person recruitment now complete, we are getting glimpses into which changes in student behavior were pandemic-era blips and which are likely to be longer-lasting.

Understanding the student mindset based on new survey data and additional sources

This report offers guidance for enrollment leaders on the mindset of ‘Gen P,’ or the students whose college-going behaviors have been influenced by their experiences during the pandemic. The insights in this report draw on a variety of sources, including the findings from EAB’s 2023 Student Communication Preferences Survey, which included responses from more than 20,000 current high school students. Additional sources consulted include recent EAB surveys of high school counselors and parents, data analyses from across EAB’s 1,100+ Enroll360 partners, and interviews with college enrollment teams.

This report explores six insights into how the pandemic has changed students’ college search behaviors and mindset:

  1. Mental health concerns are shaping Gen P’s college search.
  2. Students are academically underprepared.
  3. Students are eager for in-person events and experiences.
  4. Students have high standards for digital experiences.
  5. Students are questioning the value of a college education.
  6. Timing of student search behaviors is shifting.

Download the Full Report

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