Fall 2007 Incoming Student Survey: College Choice Results

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1 Report #388 Fall 2007 Incoming Student Survey: College Choice Results Prepared for Fred Wood, Vice Chancellor of Student Affairs Lora Jo Bossio, Interim Assistant Vice Chancellor of Student Affairs Pamela Burnett, Director of Undergraduate Admissions By Sabrina Sewell, Analyst, SARI JULY 2008 Student Affairs Research & Information University of California, Davis One Shields Ave. Davis, CA (530) (main) (530) (fax)

2 Executive Summary Background: This report focuses on the Fall 2007 Incoming Student Survey results to meet the following objectives: 1. Increase campus understanding of UC Davis s current competitive position in the undergraduate education market for high school and transfer students. 2. Expand campus recruitment outcomes based on students' college choice criteria and perceptions of UC Davis. 3. Strengthen UC Davis s undergraduate marketing strategies. Data Sources: 1. Student Affairs Research & Information s (SARI) Incoming Student Survey, a web-based questionnaire sent to 5,777 new students over the age of 18, in September There were 2,198 respondents (38% response rate). 2. University of California, Office of the President (UCOP) Applicant Flow Patterns reports high school applicant flow data from Fall 1997 to Fall 2006, and transfer applicant flow data from Fall 1999 to Fall Findings: 1. Incoming High School Students Responses from Fall 2007 Incoming Student Survey o Incoming high school students top five very important college characteristics are: availability of majors that interest you; quality of majors of interest to you; comfortable, friendly campus community; overall academic reputation; and graduates get jobs in their chosen fields. o Compared to 1998 and 2001 survey results, incoming high school students in 2007 rank comfortable, friendly campus community as very important more frequently than post-graduate outcomes (career and advanced degree programs) and campus safety. o Incoming high school students mean ratings for the top five very important college characteristics are higher for UC Davis than the other college. o The top five keywords that incoming high school students select to describe UC Davis s image are: friendly, comfortable, large, fun, and science-oriented. o Compared to 1998, incoming high school students in 2007 are more likely to view the campus as friendly, large, fun, diverse, supportive, and known for its athletics program; and less likely to see it as challenging and prestigious. o The top five keywords that incoming high school students select to describe the other college are: challenging, intellectual, fun, friendly, and large. o Visit to UC Davis campus (55%) and family (44%) are incoming high school students two most frequently identified influences when making their college choice decision. o The percentage of high school students who report they received college acceptances from 5 or more colleges (43%) continues to increase from 1998 (21%) and 2001 (33%). o Less than half of the incoming high school students rank UC Davis as their first choice (44%). o Unfortunately, the percentage of incoming high school students who attended UC Davis as their first choice school continues to gradually decline.

3 2. Incoming Transfer Students Responses from Fall 2007 Incoming Student Survey o Incoming transfer students top five very important college characteristics are: availability of majors that interest you; quality of majors of interest to you; graduates get jobs in their chosen fields; overall academic reputation; and quality of faculty. o Incoming transfer students mean ratings for four of the top five very important college characteristics are higher for UC Davis than the other college. There was very little difference in the mean scores for graduates get jobs in their chosen fields. o The top five keywords that incoming transfer students select to describe UC Davis s image are: friendly, science-oriented, challenging, intellectual, and large. o The top five keywords that incoming transfer students select to describe the other college are: challenging, intellectual, prestigious, diverse, and large. o Visit to UC Davis campus (41%) and family (36%) are incoming transfer students two most frequently identified influences when making their college choice decision. o Compared to incoming high school students, transfer students appear to consider a wider array of resources when choosing a college. o Compared to incoming high school students, transfer students are less likely to apply to 5 or more colleges (20% vs. 76%). o Incoming transfer students are less likely than incoming high school students to receive acceptances from 3 or more colleges (41% vs. 82%). o Incoming transfer students are more likely than incoming high school students to rank UC Davis as their first choice (74% vs. 44%). 3. University of California, Office of the President, Applicant Flow Patterns o UC Davis s win rates against the UC system schools are in a downward trend; these decreases are more pronounced for Under-Represented students whose numbers are smaller than the larger population.

4 Table of Contents Introduction... 4 College Characteristics and Keywords... 5 All Incoming Students Responses... 5 Incoming High School Students Responses... 6 Table 1: Please indicate how important each of the following characteristic was to YOU in making your college choice. (Incoming high school students n=1,578)... 6 Table 2: Fall 1998, Fall 2001 and Fall 2007 Incoming High School Students... 7 Figure 1: Incoming high school students mean ratings of college characteristics UC Davis vs. other college. (n=1,578)... 8 Table 3: Please rate UC Davis (and Your College) on each of the following characteristics. (Incoming high school students' responses, n=1,578)... 9 Figure 2: Incoming high school students image of UC Davis and the other college. (n=1,578) Figure 3: Comparison of 2007 and 1998 incoming high school students image of UC Davis Incoming Transfer Students Responses Table 4: Please indicate how important each of the following characteristic was to YOU in making your college choice. (Incoming transfer students n=620) Figure 4: Incoming transfer students mean ratings of college characteristics UC Davis vs. other college. (n=620) Table 5: Please rate UC Davis (and Your College) on each of the following characteristics. (Incoming transfer students' responses, n=620) Figure 5: Incoming transfer students image of UC Davis and the other college. (n=620) Influences on College Choice Decision Incoming High School Students Responses Figure 6: Factors which had a lot of influence on incoming high school students decision to attend UC Davis (n=1,578) Incoming Transfer Students Responses Figure 7: Factors which had a lot of influence on incoming transfer students decision to attend UC Davis (n=620) Applications & Acceptances Incoming High School Students Responses Table 6: Incoming high school students: How many college applications did you submit? (n=1,578)... 18

5 Table 7: Incoming high school students: How many college acceptances did you receive? (n=1,578) Incoming Transfer Students Responses Table 8: Incoming transfer students: How many college applications did you submit? (n=620) Table 9: Incoming transfer students: How many college acceptances did you receive? (n=620) Choice Rank Incoming High School Students Responses Table 10: Incoming high school students: How did UC Davis rank among your college choices? (n=1,578) Figure 8: Percentage of Incoming High School Students Attending UC Davis as Their First Choice School Figure 9: Percentage of Incoming High School Students Attending First Choice School: UC Davis vs. Highly Selective Public Universities Incoming Transfer Students Responses Table 11: Incoming transfer students: How did UC Davis rank among your college choices? (n=620) UC Davis Win Rates UC Davis Win Rates: High School Students Figure 10: UC Davis Win Rates Against UC System Schools: Fall 1997 thru Fall 2006 First Time Freshmen, CA Residents Figure 11: UC Davis Win Rates Against UC System Schools: Fall 1997 thru Fall 2006 Under-Represented First Time Freshmen, CA Residents UC Davis Win Rates: Transfer Students Figure 12: UC Davis Win Rates against UC System Schools: Fall 1999 thru Fall 2006 Junior Transfers from CA Community Colleges, CA Residents Figure 13: UC Davis Win Rates against UC System Schools: Fall 1999 thru Fall 2006 Under-Represented Junior Transfers from CA Community Colleges, CA Residents Appendix A Background Methodology Response Rates Representativeness Representativeness Tables Table A: Characteristics of Fall 2007 Incoming Students Table B: Characteristics of Fall 2007 Incoming High School Students Table C: Characteristics of Fall 2007 Incoming Transfer Students Appendix B Student Affairs Research & Information 2

6 Survey Instrument - Fall 2007 Incoming Students Survey: College Choice Questions # Appendix C Keywords by Individual Competing Institutions Table D: Fall 2007 Incoming high school students' image of UC Davis and its competing institutions Table E: Fall 2007 Incoming transfer students' image of UC Davis and its competing institutions Student Affairs Research & Information 3

7 Introduction This report discusses data from two sources: SARI s Fall 2007 Incoming Student Survey and the Applicant Flow Pattern reports of the University of California Office of the President (UCOP). The first portion of the Fall 2007 Incoming Student Survey, summarized in this report, sought information from students to further our understanding of UC Davis s position in the undergraduate markets for high school and transfer students. We asked new students to rate the importance to their college choice decision of twenty-two college characteristics. Then, the survey asked new students to compare UC Davis to another college they considered based on college characteristics, keywords and images. Also, the survey asked them how many college applications they submitted and how many acceptances they received, and UC Davis s rank in their choice selection. (A copy of the marketing portion of the survey instrument is included in Appendix B.) Win rates computed from applicant flow data provided by UCOP are used to assess the campus s competitive position vis-à-vis other UC campuses. The win rate is the proportion of students admitted to both UC Davis and another UC campus who chose to enroll at UC Davis. Student Affairs Research & Information 4

8 College Characteristics and Keywords All Incoming Students Responses The Incoming Student Survey asked new students to rank twenty-two college characteristics by importance in making their college choice. Academic characteristics (i.e., quality of majors and faculty), post-graduation opportunities (graduate/professional school or career), and campus environment (campus environment, safety and quality of facilities) are the top ten characteristics ranked very important. Characteristics like intercollegiate athletics, campus location, on/off campus activities, and diversity received lower rankings. The new students rankings of important characteristics are very similar to the non-enrolling admits rankings from the Fall 2007 College Choice Survey. * The survey asked new students to rate UC Davis and another institution they also considered (referred to as the other college) based on college characteristics. New students rate UC Davis "Very Good" and "Excellent" more frequently than the other college for ten of the twenty-two characteristics. UC Davis is rated higher than the other college for 8 out of the top 10 characteristics. New students responses differ from the non-enrolling admits responses in that non-enrolling admits rated their other college higher than UC Davis for all characteristics, except campus is safe for all students. The Incoming Student Survey asked new students to write a word or phrase (unprompted) that best expressed their image of UC Davis. The survey then provided the new students with seventeen keywords, and asked them to select which ones represented the most widely held images of UC Davis (with the ability to select more than one keyword), and which represented the most widely held image for other college. Top five keywords that new students say most characterize UC Davis s image are: friendly (81%), comfortable (74%), large (74%), science-oriented (63%), and challenging (61%). Top five keywords that new students say most widely held the other college s image are: challenging (54%), intellectual (52%), fun (48%), large (45%), and diverse (44%). UC Davis has higher frequencies than the other college for twelve of the seventeen given keywords: challenging, intellectual, fun, large, diverse, friendly, careeroriented, science-oriented, comfortable, supportive, athletics program, and rural. The keyword rural has the greatest percentage difference in favor of UC Davis (41%). The other college has higher frequencies for the remaining keywords; the keyword partying has greatest percentage difference in favor of the other college (22%). * Sewell, S. (2008) Fall 2007 Non-enrolling Admits: National Student Clearinghouse and the College Choice Survey. Davis, CA: University of California Davis, Student Affairs Research & Information Report #388. Student Affairs Research & Information 5

9 Incoming High School Students Responses Students were asked to indicate how important each of the characteristics was in making their college choice, by using a Likert scale (Not Very Important, Somewhat Important, and Very Important). Table 1: Please indicate how important each of the following characteristic was to YOU in making your college choice. (Incoming high school students n=1,578) % Very Rank College Characteristic Important 1 Availability of majors that interest you 83% 2 Quality of majors of interest to you 83% 3 Comfortable, friendly campus community 82% 4 Overall academic reputation 77% 5 Graduates get jobs in their chosen fields 75% 6 Campus is safe for all students 70% 7 Graduates get into good graduate & professional schools 68% 8 Quality of faculty 66% 9 Faculty are accessible to students 65% 10 Quality of academic facilities (library, lab, computers, etc.) 64% 11 Students receive individual guidance & attention 58% 12 "Out-of-pocket" cost of attendance (after financial aid, scholarships, etc.) 57% 13 Availability of internships & practical work experiences 55% 14 Quality & availability of on-campus housing 52% 15 ON-CAMPUS cultural & recreational opportunities 38% 16 General campus setting (urban, rural, beach, mountains, etc.) 33% 17 College-guide ranking 32% 18 Racially & ethnically diverse student body 28% 19 OFF-CAMPUS cultural & recreational opportunities 28% 20 Campus is close (enough) to home 24% 21 Prominent intercollegiate athletics 20% 22 Campus is located in a specific city or area of interest 19% o Availability/quality of majors, the campus s friendly environment, academic reputation, and post-graduate career opportunities are characteristics which incoming high school students most frequently rank very important. Student Affairs Research & Information 6

10 Table 2: Fall 1998, Fall 2001 and Fall 2007 Incoming High School Students % Ranking Characteristic Note: Superscripts represent rankings (top ten only). Very Important Rank College Characteristic (n=1578) (n=281) (n=1375) 1 Availability of majors that interest you 83% 1 85% 1 83% 1 2 Quality of majors of interest to you 83% 2 80% 2 81% 3 3 Comfortable, friendly campus community 82% 3 67% 6 74% 5 4 Overall academic reputation 77% 4 5 Graduates get jobs in their chosen fields 75% 5 75%³ 82%² 6 Campus is safe for all students 70% 6 73% 4 73% 6 7 Graduates get into good graduate & professional schools 68% 7 72% 5 77% 4 8 Quality of faculty 66% 8 9 Faculty are accessible to students 65% 9 54% 8 58% Quality of academic facilities (library, lab, computers, etc.) 64% 10 64% 7 68% 7 11 Students receive individual guidance & attention 58% 47% 56% "Out-of-pocket" cost of attendance (after financial aid, scholarships, etc.) 57% 46% 50% 13 Availability of internships & practical work experiences 55% 53% 9 58% Quality & availability of on-campus housing 52% 48% 10 43% 15 ON-CAMPUS cultural & recreational opportunities 38% 29% 30% 16 General campus setting (urban, rural, beach, mountains, etc.) 33% 17 College-guide ranking 32% 18 Racially & ethnically diverse student body 28% 21% 26% 19 OFF-CAMPUS cultural & recreational opportunities 28% 23% 21% 20 Campus is close (enough) to home 24% 21 Prominent intercollegiate athletics 20% 14% 13% 22 Campus is located in a specific city or area of interest 19% o o Since 1998, there has been relatively little change to the top five very important college characteristics. Incoming high school students in 2007 rank comfortable, friendly campus community as even more important than in previous years, and rank educational outcomes (career and advanced degree programs) somewhat less important. Butler, G. (2002) Admitted Student Study: A Comparison of 1998 and Davis, CA: University of California Davis, Student Affairs Research & Information Report #239. Student Affairs Research & Information 7

11 Figure 1: Incoming high school students mean ratings of college characteristics UC Davis vs. other college. (n=1,578) 4 UC Davis Other College *Ratings on a scale of 1 to 4, where "1" = Poor/Fair and "4" = Excellent. Availability of majors that interest you Quality of majors of interest to you Comfortable, friendly campus community Overall academic reputation Graduates get jobs in their chosen fields Campus is safe for all students Graduates get into good graduate & professional schools Quality of faculty Faculty are accessible to students Quality of academic facilities Students receive individual guidance & attention "Out-of-pocket" cost of attendance Availability of internships & practical work experiences Quality & availability of on-campus housing ON-CAMPUS cultural & recreational opportunities General campus setting College-guide ranking Racially & ethnically diverse student body OFF-CAMPUS cultural & recreational opportunities Campus is close (enough) to home Prominent intercollegiate athletics Campus is located in a specific city or area of interest o Incoming high school students mean ratings for the top five very important college characteristics are higher for UC Davis than the other college. o Incoming high school students mean ratings for the other college are substantially higher for only two of the twenty-two characteristics: general campus setting and campus is located in a specific city or area of interest. Student Affairs Research & Information 8

12 Respondents were asked to rate the given characteristics for both UC Davis and the competing college, by using a Likert scale (Poor/Fair, Good, Very Good, Excellent, and Can t Rate). Below are the percentages for Can't Rate. Table 3: Please rate UC Davis (and Your College) on each of the following characteristics. (Incoming high school students' responses, n=1,578) College Characteristic Imp. Rank UC Davis Can't Rate Other College Can't Rate Availability of majors that interest you 1 4% 11% Quality of majors of interest to you 2 10% 15% Comfortable, friendly campus community 3 3% 14% Overall academic reputation 4 3% 8% Graduates get jobs in their chosen fields 5 23% 27% Campus is safe for all students 6 6% 17% Graduates get into good graduate & professional schools 7 21% 25% Quality of faculty 8 17% 23% Faculty are accessible to students 9 21% 31% Quality of academic facilities (library, lab, computers, etc.) 10 9% 20% Students receive individual guidance & attention 11 21% 32% "Out-of-pocket" cost of attendance (after financial aid, scholarships, etc.) 12 10% 22% Availability of internships & practical work experiences 13 18% 34% Quality & availability of on-campus housing 14 5% 20% ON-CAMPUS cultural & recreational opportunities 15 15% 33% General campus setting (urban, rural, beach, mountains, etc.) 16 4% 10% College-guide ranking 17 14% 23% Racially & ethnically diverse student body 18 10% 20% OFF-CAMPUS cultural & recreational opportunities 19 24% 34% Campus is close (enough) to home 20 6% 12% Prominent intercollegiate athletics 21 17% 28% Campus is located in a specific city or area of interest 22 9% 12% o Incoming high school students say they are less likely to be able to rate the other college on the given characteristics than UC Davis. o One-fifth or more of the incoming students say they are unable to rate UC Davis for the following characteristics: off-campus activities, post-graduate career opportunities, access to faculty, and individual attention and guidance for students. Student Affairs Research & Information 9

13 Figure 2: Incoming high school students image of UC Davis and the other college. (n=1,578) 100% 90% 80% 70% 60% 50% 40% 30% 20% 10% 0% UC Davis Other College Friendly Comfortable Large Fun Science-oriented Intellectual Challenging Rural Diverse Supportive Career-oriented Prestigious Athletics program Academic pressure Selective Back-up school Partying o The top five keywords that incoming high school students select to describe UC Davis s image are: friendly, comfortable, large, fun, and science-oriented. o The top five keywords that incoming high school students select to describe the other college are: challenging, intellectual, fun, friendly, and large. o Compared to the other schools they considered, incoming high school students report that UC Davis s image is more often viewed as friendly, comfortable, large, fun, science-oriented, rural, diverse, and supportive than the other college (percentage difference more than 10%). (For individual competing institutions see Appendix C, page 38, Table D.) Student Affairs Research & Information 10

14 Figure 3: Comparison of 2007 and 1998 incoming high school students image of UC Davis 100% 90% 80% 70% 60% 50% 40% 30% 20% 10% 0% Friendly Comfortable Large Fun Intellectual Challenging Rural Diverse Supportive Career-oriented Prestigious Athletics program Academic pressure Selective Back-up school Partying o Compared to 1998, incoming high school students in 2007 are more likely to view the campus as friendly, large, fun, diverse, supportive, and known for its athletics program; and less likely to see it as challenging and prestigious. Butler, G. (2000) The Admitted Student Study: A Survey of Fall 1998 New from High School Students. Davis, CA: University of California Davis, Student Affairs Research & Information Report #198. Student Affairs Research & Information 11

15 Incoming Transfer Students Responses Students were asked to indicate how important each of the characteristics was in making their college choice, by using a Likert scale (Not Very Important, Somewhat Important, and Very Important). Table 4: Please indicate how important each of the following characteristic was to YOU in making your college choice. (Incoming transfer students n=620) % Very Rank College Characteristic Important 1 Availability of majors that interest you 89% 2 Quality of majors of interest to you 88% 3 Graduates get jobs in their chosen fields 81% 4 Overall academic reputation 80% 5 Quality of faculty 76% 6 Graduates get into good graduate & professional schools 74% 7 Faculty are accessible to students 73% 8 Comfortable, friendly campus community 70% 9 Quality of academic facilities (library, lab, computers, etc.) 69% 10 Campus is safe for all students 67% 11 Students receive individual guidance & attention 65% 12 Availability of internships & practical work experiences 65% 13 "Out-of-pocket" cost of attendance (after financial aid, scholarships, etc.) 62% 14 College-guide ranking 34% 15 Campus is close (enough) to home 32% 16 General campus setting (urban, rural, beach, mountains, etc.) 31% 17 Racially & ethnically diverse student body 30% 18 ON-CAMPUS cultural & recreational opportunities 28% 19 OFF-CAMPUS cultural & recreational opportunities 23% 20 Campus is located in a specific city or area of interest 20% 21 Quality & availability of on-campus housing 19% 22 Prominent intercollegiate athletics 13% o Availability/quality of majors, post-graduate career opportunities, academic reputation, quality of faculty, and post-graduate educational opportunities are college characteristics which incoming transfer students most frequently rank very important. o Incoming transfer students rank graduates gets job in their chosen fields as very important more frequently than incoming high school students. o Incoming transfer students rank comfortable, friendly campus as very important less frequently than incoming high school students. Student Affairs Research & Information 12

16 Figure 4: Incoming transfer students mean ratings of college characteristics UC Davis vs. other college. (n=620) 4 UC Davis Other College *Ratings on a scale of 1 to 4, where "1" = Poor/Fair and "4" = Excellent. Availability of majors that interest you Quality of majors of interest to you Graduates get jobs in their chosen fields Overall academic reputation Quality of faculty Graduates get into good graduate & professional schools Faculty are accessible to students Comfortable, friendly campus community Quality of academic facilities Campus is safe for all students Students receive individual guidance & attention Availability of internships & practical work experiences "Out-of-pocket" cost of attendance College-guide ranking Campus is close (enough) to home General campus setting Racially & ethnically diverse student body ON-CAMPUS cultural & recreational opportunities OFF-CAMPUS cultural & recreational opportunities Campus is located in a specific city or area of interest Quality & availability of on-campus housing Prominent intercollegiate athletics o Incoming transfer students mean ratings for four of the top five very important college characteristics are higher for UC Davis than the other college. There was very little difference in the mean scores for graduates get jobs in their chosen fields. o Incoming transfer students mean rating for the other college is substantially higher for the college characteristic: campus is located in a specific city or area of interest. o Incoming transfer students mean rating for UC Davis is substantially higher for the following college characteristics: comfortable, friendly campus community; campus is safe for all students; campus is close (enough) to home; andavailability of internships & practical work experiences. o Incoming transfer students rate UC Davis s quality & availability of on-campus housing lower than incoming high school students. (Data not shown.) UC Davis does not guarantee transfer students on-campus housing. Student Affairs Research & Information 13

17 Respondents were asked to rate the given characteristics for both UC Davis and the competing college, by using a Likert scale (Poor/Fair, Good, Very Good, Excellent, and Can t Rate). Below are the percentages for Can't Rate. Table 5: Please rate UC Davis (and Your College) on each of the following characteristics. (Incoming transfer students' responses, n=620) College Characteristic Imp. Rank UC Davis Can't Rate Other College Can't Rate Availability of majors that interest you 1 5% 15% Quality of majors of interest to you 2 10% 18% Graduates get jobs in their chosen fields 3 23% 31% Overall academic reputation 4 5% 13% Quality of faculty 5 21% 27% Graduates get into good graduate & professional schools 6 22% 29% Faculty are accessible to students 7 30% 37% Comfortable, friendly campus community 8 8% 18% Quality of academic facilities (library, lab, computers, etc.) 9 15% 25% Campus is safe for all students 10 4% 24% Students receive individual guidance & attention 11 27% 40% Availability of internships & practical work experiences 12 22% 38% "Out-of-pocket" cost of attendance (after financial aid, scholarships, etc.) 13 12% 28% College-guide ranking 14 23% 32% Campus is close (enough) to home 15 9% 20% General campus setting (urban, rural, beach, mountains, etc.) 16 6% 15% Racially & ethnically diverse student body 17 18% 27% ON-CAMPUS cultural & recreational opportunities 18 30% 42% OFF-CAMPUS cultural & recreational opportunities 19 34% 41% Campus is located in a specific city or area of interest 20 9% 18% Quality & availability of on-campus housing 21 30% 44% Prominent intercollegiate athletics 22 27% 40% o Incoming transfer students say they are less likely to be able to rate the other college on the given characteristics than UC Davis. o At least 30% of incoming transfer students are unable to rate UC Davis on the following characteristics: access to faculty; quality and availability of on-campus housing; and on- and off-campus cultural and recreational opportunities. Student Affairs Research & Information 14

18 Figure 5: Incoming transfer students image of UC Davis and the other college. (n=620) 100% 90% 80% 70% 60% 50% 40% 30% 20% 10% 0% UC Davis Other College Friendly Science-oriented Challenging Intellectual Large Comfortable Rural Prestigious Diverse Career-oriented Fun Supportive Academic pressure Selective Athletics program Back-up school Partying o The top five keywords that incoming transfer students select to describe UC Davis s image are: friendly, science-oriented, challenging, intellectual, and large. o The top five keywords that incoming transfer students select to describe the other college are: challenging, intellectual, prestigious, diverse, and large. o Compared to the other schools they considered, incoming transfer students report that UC Davis s image is more often viewed as friendly, science-oriented, challenging, intellectual, large, comfortable, rural, and supportive than the other college (percentage difference more than 10%). (For individual competing institutions see Appendix A, page 39, Table E.) Student Affairs Research & Information 15

19 Influences on College Choice Decision The Incoming Student survey asked students to indicate how specific factors influenced their decision to enroll at UC Davis. Students were given a scale to use for their response: very little or no influence; some influence; and a lot of influence. Incoming High School Students Responses Figure 6: Factors which had a lot of influence on incoming high school students decision to attend UC Davis (n=1,578) Percentage of Incoming high school student respondents 70% 60% 55% 50% 40% 30% 20% 10% 0% Visit to UC DAVIS campus Family 44% 17% 15% 12% 11% 11% 10% 6% Friends Teachers/faculty UC DAVIS website Communications with UC Davis admissions office College guides HS or Community College counselor Personal (professional) college counselor o Majority of incoming high school students indicate that visiting UC Davis s campus (55%) and their family members (44%) had a lot of influence on their decision to attend UC Davis. Student Affairs Research & Information 16

20 Incoming Transfer Students Responses Figure 7: Factors which had a lot of influence on incoming transfer students decision to attend UC Davis (n=620) Percentage of Incoming transfer student repsondents 60% 50% 41% 40% 30% 20% 10% 0% Visit to UC DAVIS campus Family 36% 21% 20% 16% 15% 14% 13% 11% Friends Teachers/faculty UC DAVIS website Communications and interactions with UC DAVIS... HS or Community College counselor Personal (professional) college counselor College guides o Similar to incoming high school students, a majority of transfer students indicate that visiting the campus (44%) and their family members (36%) had a lot of influence on their decision to attend UC Davis. o Compared to incoming high school students, transfer students appear to consider a wider array of resources when choosing a college. o For both incoming high school and transfer students, college guides were less likely to have a lot of influence on their college decision than other resources (11%). Student Affairs Research & Information 17

21 Applications & Acceptances The Incoming Student survey asked students how many college applications they submitted, and how many college acceptances they received. Incoming High School Students Responses Table 6: Incoming high school students: How many college applications did you submit? (n=1,578) % 1 2% 2 3% 3 6% 4 14% 5 15% 6 16% 7 or more 45% Table 7: Incoming high school students: How many college acceptances did you receive? (n=1,578) % 1 5% 2 12% 3 19% 4 20% 5 15% 6 10% 7 or more 18% o More than 75% of the incoming high school students say that they submitted 5 or more college applications. o The percentage of incoming high school students who report that they submitted 5 or more college applications continues to increase from 1998 (53%) and 2001 (68%). o More than three-quarters (82%) of the incoming high school students say they received college acceptances from 3 or more colleges. o Also, the percentage of high school students who report they received college acceptances from 5 or more colleges (43%) continues to increase from 1998 (21%) and 2001 (33%). Butler, G. (2000) The Admitted Student Study: A Survey of Fall 1998 New from High School Students. Davis, CA: University of California Davis, Student Affairs Research & Information Report #198. Student Affairs Research & Information 18

22 o Nearly all had at least one competing offer (95%). Incoming Transfer Students Responses Table 8: Incoming transfer students: How many college applications did you submit? (n=620) % 1 30% 2 16% 3 17% 4 17% 5 8% 6 5% 7 or more 7% Table 9: Incoming transfer students: How many college acceptances did you receive? (n=620) % 1 37% 2 21% 3 18% 4 12% 5 4% 6 4% 7 or more 3% o Compared to incoming high school students, transfer students are less likely to apply to 5 or more colleges (20% vs. 76%). o Incoming transfer students are less likely than incoming high school students to receive acceptances from 3 or more colleges (41% vs. 82%). o However, the market for undergraduate transfer students is competitive and likely to become more so as the number of graduating high school seniors falls and colleges increase the number of transfer students they accept. o Nearly two-thirds had at least one competing offer (62%). Student Affairs Research & Information 19

23 Choice Rank Also, the survey asked students to rate UC Davis among their college choices (first choice, second choice, third choice or lower). Incoming High School Students Responses Table 10: Incoming high school students: How did UC Davis rank among your college choices? (n=1,578) % First Choice 44% Second Choice 38% Third choice or lower 18% o Less than half (44%) of the incoming high school students rank UC Davis as their first choice. Incoming female high school students more frequently rank UC Davis as their first choice than males (47% vs. 39%). Incoming White (52%) and American Indian (50%) high school students more frequently rank UC Davis as their first choice than other ethnic groups. Incoming high school students who selected majors in the College of Agricultural & Environmental Sciences (56%) or the College of Biological Science (49%) more frequently rank UC Davis as their first choice than those who selected majors in other fields. Incoming high school students from Northern California (54%), North Valley California (56%), Central California (49%), and out-of-state (51%) more frequently ranked UC Davis as their first choice than students from other California regions. Student Affairs Research & Information 20

24 Figure 8: Percentage of Incoming High School Students Attending UC Davis as Their First Choice School 100% 90% 89% 80% 74% 70% 60% 50% 67% 59% 63% 52% 52% 50% 40% 44% 30% 20% 10% 0% SOURCE: CIRP Survey of Enrolling Freshmen ; data for year 2007 provided by SARI's Fall 2007 Incoming Student Survey results from high school school respondents. o Unfortunately, the percentage of incoming students who attended UC Davis as their first choice school continues to gradually decline. (Percentages from provided by CIRP (Cooperative Institutional Research Program) Survey of Enrolling Freshmen.) Student Affairs Research & Information 21

25 Figure 9: Percentage of Incoming High School Students Attending First Choice School: UC Davis vs. Highly Selective Public Universities 100% UC Davis Hi-Selective Public Universities 90% 80% 70% 60% 50% 40% 70% 89% 80% 67% 59% 74% 63% 70% 71% 63% 64% 52% 71% 52% 68% 50% 64% 44% 30% 20% 10% 0% SOURCE: CIRP Survey of Enrolling Freshmen ; data for year 2007 provided by SARI's Fall 2007 Incoming Student Survey results from high school school respondents. o Nationwide highly selective public universities incoming high school students are more likely than UC Davis s incoming high school students to be attending their first choice school. ** ** Sax, L.J., Hurtado, S., Lindholm, J.A., Astin, A., Korn, W.S., Mahoney, K.M., et al. ( ). The American Freshman: National Norms. Los Angeles: Higher Education Research Institute, UCLA. Student Affairs Research & Information 22

26 Incoming Transfer Students Responses Table 11: Incoming transfer students: How did UC Davis rank among your college choices? (n=620) % First Choice 74% Second Choice 21% Third choice or lower 4% o Incoming transfer students are more likely than incoming high school students to rank UC Davis as their first choice (74% vs. 44%). Incoming White transfer students more frequently rank UC Davis as their first choice than other ethnic groups (82%). Incoming transfer students who selected majors in the College of Biological Sciences (80%), College of Agricultural & Environmental Sciences (79%), or College of Engineering (77%) more frequently rank UC Davis as their first choice than transfer students who selected majors in the College of Letters & Science (69%). Incoming transfer students from Central California (88%), Southern California (excluding Los Angeles) (87%), and Northern California (83%) more frequently ranked UC Davis as their first choice than transfer students from other California regions and out-of-state. Student Affairs Research & Information 23

27 UC Davis Win Rates Since 1997, the University of California Office of the President has produced a report displaying high school applicant flow patterns across the campuses. Transfer applicant flow data became available in These data provide information as to where applicants applied, where they were admitted, and where they chose to enroll within the UC system. Only California residents are included in these reports. The following data are UC Davis s win rates against the other UC campuses: the win rate is the percentage of co-admits that chose to enroll at UC Davis. UC Davis Win Rates: High School Students Figure 10: UC Davis Win Rates Against UC System Schools: Fall 1997 thru Fall 2006 First Time Freshmen, CA Residents Source: University of California, Office of the President o o From Fall 1998 to Fall 1999, there was a substantial decrease in UC Davis s win rates against UC Irvine and UC Santa Barbara. After recovering from this decrease in 2004, UC Davis win rates appear to be in a downward trend. Since Fall 1996, UC Davis s win rates against UC Los Angeles and UC San Diego have decreased, while our win rates against UC Santa Cruz and UC Riverside have increased. University of California, Office of the President (UCOP). ( ). Applicant Flow Patterns. Student Affairs Research & Information 24

28 Figure 11: UC Davis Win Rates Against UC System Schools: Fall 1997 thru Fall 2006 Under-Represented First Time Freshmen, CA Residents Source: University of California, Office of the President Due to the small number of under-represented first time freshmen, changes in UC Davis s win rates are more pronounced than within the larger freshmen population. o Since Fall 1997: o Win rates against UC Irvine, UC Santa Cruz, and UC Riverside have increased. o Win rates against UC San Diego for under-represented first time freshmen experienced a more pronounced decline with gradual recovery over the last ten years. o Win rates against UC Berkeley and UC Los Angeles have fallen slightly. o However, from Fall 2004 to Fall 2006, win rates against UC Los Angeles, UC San Diego, and UC Irvine have increased, while win rates against UC Santa Cruz and UC Riverside have fallen slightly. Student Affairs Research & Information 25

29 UC Davis Win Rates: Transfer Students Figure 12: UC Davis Win Rates against UC System Schools: Fall 1999 thru Fall 2006 Junior Transfers from CA Community Colleges, CA Residents Source: University of California, Office of the President o With the exception of UC Riverside, UC Davis s win rates for transfer students against the UC campuses are in a downward trend. Student Affairs Research & Information 26

30 Figure 13: UC Davis Win Rates against UC System Schools: Fall 1999 thru Fall 2006 Under-Represented Junior Transfers from CA Community Colleges, CA Residents Source: University of California, Office of the President Similar to the under-represented first time freshmen win rates, Under-Represented transfer students numbers are much smaller than within the larger transfer student population; therefore changes in win rates are more pronounced. o o o UC Davis s win rates for under-represented transfer students against the UC campuses are in a downward trend. Despite an increase in the number of cross admits, UC Davis s win rates against UC Los Angeles experienced the largest decline (24%), followed by UC Santa Cruz (20%). Additionally, UC Davis s win rates against UC San Diego decreased 20% from Fall 2005 to Fall Student Affairs Research & Information 27

31 Background Appendix A In 1998, Student Affairs Research & Information (SARI) undertook an extensive study of the campus s admitted freshmen to meet the following objectives: To increase campus understanding of the place UC Davis holds in the undergraduate education market; To maximize campus strengths through development of consistent messages and focused marketing approaches; and To maximize campus recruitment outcomes. Results of this survey verified that our strongest competitors are our sister campuses within the UC system. We learned that the quality and availability of majors and postgraduate outcomes (jobs, graduate and professional school admittance) are paramount in the college choice decision of our entering freshmen. We discovered that our image was rural, comfortable, and friendly, but also less intellectual, challenging, prestigious, academically pressured, and selective than our chief competitors. (For more detailed findings, see SARI Report 198, The Admitted Student Study: A Survey of Fall 1998 New from High School Students.) In response to this research, the campus strived to change recruitment messages to stress the academic excellence of UC Davis rather than focusing on its small-town setting, and to provide more information about majors and postgraduate opportunities. A second, much smaller survey of freshmen admitted from high school was undertaken by SARI in 2001, in conjunction with an evaluation of a pilot Web site for Undergraduate Admissions. Few changes in the college choice decision process or UC Davis s image among prospective freshmen were evidenced in the results to this follow-up research. (For more detail see SARI Report 239, Admitted Student Study: A Comparison of 1998 and 2001.) As SARI prepared for its triennial survey of incoming freshmen, we decided to revisit the concerns addressed in the 1998 and 2001 admitted student surveys. In response to campus concerns about the need to recruit increasing numbers of transfer students, the population was expanded to include this additional population. Both enrolling and nonenrolling students who were admitted to UC Davis for Fall 2007 were asked to identify college characteristics important to the choice of college to attend, to rate both UC Davis and a competing college on these characteristics, and to identify the image of UC Davis and a competing college. Information about the college choice of non-enrolling admits for Fall 2007 can be found in SARI Report #389, Fall 2007 Non-Enrolling Admits: Results from the National Student Clearinghouse and the College Choice Survey. Results from the Fall 2007 Survey of Incoming Students are reported herein. Student Affairs Research & Information 28

32 Methodology The Fall 2007 Survey of Incoming Students was delivered entirely electronically during September of Both prospective freshmen and transfers identified by Undergraduate Admissions as having returned a Statement of Intent to Register (SIR) by July 19, 2007 were included in the survey effort. Due to insufficient time to undergo a complete review by the Institutional Review Board, students who were not yet eighteen were removed from the survey population. An initial invitation was followed by three reminder s to students who had not yet submitted a response to the survey, at intervals of five to seven days. The survey was closed on October 4, Response Rates After survey implementation, students who did not enroll for Fall 2007 at UC Davis were removed from the population and from the response set. A total of 5,777 enrolling new students who were over 18 at end of August 2007 were included in the survey population: 3936 were freshmen and 1841 were transfer students. A total of 2,198 enrolling new students completed the questionnaire: 1578 were freshmen, and 620 were transfer students. Forty percent of new freshmen and 39% of new transfers completed the questionnaire. Representativeness The respondents are substantially representative of the population of entering students by race/ethnicity and by college for both freshman and transfer entrants. Within both the freshmen and transfer populations, females responded in disproportionate numbers. (See pages ) Student Affairs Research & Information 29

33 Representativeness Tables Table A: Characteristics of Fall 2007 Incoming Students Population (n=7,265) % of Population Sample Population (n=5,777) % of Sample Population Respondents (n=2,198) % of Respondents Ethnicity African American 4% 3% 3% American Indian 1% 1% 1% Asian American 41% 39% 37% Latino American 4% 4% 4% Mexican American 10% 10% 10% White/Caucasian 35% 37% 41% Unknown 6% 6% 5% Ethnicity Chinese 46% 44% 46% (Asian) East Indian 8% 10% 9% Filipino 7% 10% 10% Japanese 6% 4% 4% Korean 16% 7% 9% Other Asian 8% 10% 10% Pacific Islander 1% 1% 2% Vietnamese 8% 13% 11% College Agricultural & Environmental Sciences 22% 23% 22% Biological Sciences 21% 21% 22% Engineering 12% 12% 11% Letters & Science 45% 45% 44% Gender Female 57% 56% 64% Male 43% 43% 36% Unknown 1% 1% Student Affairs Research & Information 30

34 Table B: Characteristics of Fall 2007 Incoming High School Students Population (n=5,209) % of Population Sample Population (n=3,936) % of Sample Population Respondents (n=1,578) % of Respondents Ethnicity African American 4% 4% 3% American Indian 1% 1% 1% Asian American 44% 42% 40% Latino American 3% 3% 4% Mexican American 11% 10% 10% White/Caucasian 33% 34% 39% Unknown 5% 5% 5% Ethnicity Chinese 44% 45% 46% (Asian) East Indian 9% 9% 9% Filipino 10% 10% 10% Japanese 3% 3% 3% Korean 8% 8% 9% Other Asian 11% 11% 10% Pacific Islander 1% 1% 2% Vietnamese 13% 13% 12% College Agricultural & Environmental Sciences 20% 20% 19% Biological Sciences 21% 21% 24% Engineering 15% 15% 13% Letters & Science 44% 44% 43% Gender Female 59% 58% 65% Male 41% 42% 35% Student Affairs Research & Information 31

35 Table C: Characteristics of Fall 2007 Incoming Transfer Students Population (n=2,056) % of Population Sample Population (n=1,841) % of Sample Population Respondents (n=620) % of Respondents Ethnicity African American 3% 3% 3% American Indian 1% 1% 3% Asian American 33% 33% 30% Latino American 4% 4% 4% Mexican American 10% 10% 9% White/Caucasian 41% 42% 46% Unknown 8% 7% 5% Ethnicity Chinese 46% 41% 43% (Asian) East Indian 8% 11% 10% Filipino 7% 11% 10% Japanese 6% 6% 8% Korean 16% 6% 7% Other Asian 8% 8% 11% Pacific Islander 1% 2% 2% Vietnamese 8% 16% 10% College Agricultural & Environmental Sciences 28% 27% 29% Biological Sciences 19% 19% 19% Engineering 5% 5% 6% Letters & Science 48% 48% 46% Gender Female 53% 53% 61% Male 46% 46% 39% Unknown 2% 2% 1% Student Affairs Research & Information 32

36 Appendix B Survey Instrument - Fall 2007 Incoming Students Survey: College Choice Questions # Before deciding which school to attend, students consider many college characteristics. Please indicate how important each of the following characteristics was to YOU in making your college choice. 1 Not very important 2 Somewhat important 3 Very important Overall academic reputation Quality of faculty Quality of academic facilities (library, labs, computers, etc.) Comfortable, friendly campus community Campus is safe for all students Quality & availability of on-campus housing Graduates get into good graduate & professional schools Graduates get jobs in their chosen fields Faculty are accessible to students Students receive individual guidance & attention Out-of-pocket cost of attendance (after financial aid, scholarships, etc.) General campus setting (urban, rural, beach, mountains, etc.) Campus is located in a specific city or area of interest Campus is close (enough) to home Availability of internships & practical work experiences Availability of majors that interest you Quality of majors of interest to you Racially & ethnically diverse student body Prominent intercollegiate athletics ON-CAMPUS cultural & recreational opportunities OFF-CAMPUS cultural & recreational opportunities College guide ranking 2. Is there another characteristic that was important to you in your college choice? Please explain. 3./4. Please tell us the NAME and CITY of a college you seriously considered attending, other than UC DAVIS. 5. Please rate the college you named above on each characteristic below. 1 Poor/Fair 2 Good Student Affairs Research & Information 33

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