Thinking about Applying to Community Colleges - Data from the Student Research Foundation

Which High School Students Are Thinking about Applying to Community Colleges?

Key findings from the Student Research Foundation’s new study of high school students who are thinking about college

Which high school students are thinking of applying to community colleges?

Chances are you have some preconceptions about the answers to that question, and some of them could be true. But chances are that some of your views are not correct, as you will probably learn when you review findings from “High School Students: Aspiring to Community Colleges,” a study of high school students conducted by the Student Research Foundation during the 2015-16 academic year.

In future blog posts, we will be presenting more results from the study. Today, we would like to provide a detailed picture of who the students are who are applying to community colleges.

What Other College Options Do Community College Applicants Consider?

Of students who are considering applying to community colleges:

  • 66% are also considering a 4-year public or private college
  • 22% are solely considering applying to community colleges
  • 8% are also considering a technical school/college
  • 3% are also considering an online college

(Note that survey respondents could choose up to two post-secondary education options.)

Are Male or Female Students More Likely to Consider Community Colleges?

The study found that females are more likely than males to aspire to attend community college (24% vs. 19%).  But among those who are considering community colleges, the decision-making process plays out differently:

  • Females are more likely than males to also consider a four-year college (70% vs. 62%)
  • Males are more likely than females to consider only community college (23% vs. 21%)

When Do High School Students Typically Consider Applying to Community Colleges?

The study found that interest in applying to community colleges increases as students move through their high school years:

  • During their freshman year of high school, only 13% of high school students are thinking about applying to community colleges
  • During their senior year, 32% are considering community colleges

What Impact Do Grades Have on the Decision to Apply?

As you might have suspected, students with higher GPAs are generally more likely to choose four-year colleges over community colleges. The study determined that:

  • Interest in community colleges decreases as GPAs rise. Overall, 28% of “C” students, but only 17% of “A” students, are considering community colleges

Are you ready to explore college options and new career choices? Participate in the National Career Pathway Study and you will be empowered with new information to make career and educational decisions that ultimately align with your interests, passions, and aptitudes.

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