Date of Award


Degree Name

Educational Leadership


College of Education and Professional Development

Type of Degree


Document Type



The purpose of this study was to rate the significance of selected factors that influence college choice for first-year students who chose to attend, during fall, 1994, 1 of 10 American liberal arts colleges and universities associated with the Churches of Christ. This study further evaluated the relationship of the rating of these factors with specific student demographic data and the timing of the college choice decision.

Completed surveys were received from 2,677 respondents representing 76% rate of return. According to the results, the most influential college choice factors were the college's religious affiliation, academic reputation, job placement reputation, offer of financial assistance, and the availability of a specific major. When considering demographic variables, significant differences in the rating of factors were apparent when gender, average high school grade, religious preference, family income level, and parents' educational level were considered. This study also found that 50.7% of the students had made the college choice decision before their senior year of high school.


The University of West Virginia College of Graduate Studies became the WV Graduate College in 1992 and was subsequently merged with Marshall University in 1997.


College choice – United States.

Christian universities and colleges – United States.