Graduate Program Considerations: Which Factors Matter to Students?
Keywords:first-generation students, students of Color, college choice, graduate admissions, college-going, masters’ program, entrance exams, college attendance
Graduate enrollment rates are increasing, but research investigating which factors matter in the decision process is lacking. The results of this quantitative study suggest that first-generation students and students of Color interested in educational counseling and student affairs approach the master’s college choice process differently than continuing-generation students and White students. Program characteristics, personal factors, ease of entrance, input from others, and benefits to others emerged as important features of the process for historically marginalized student groups. Implications for practice and research are discussed which include examining admissions policies and program structures.