Analyzing the College Application Survey: Part 2

April 1, 2017 Comments Off on Analyzing the College Application Survey: Part 2
Analyzing the College Application Survey: Part 2

By Kayla Beardslee

Last winter, Najma Jama and I gave a survey about early college applications to the students in our senior class. This is the second article analyzing the responses we received. For anyone who’s interested in our data, click here to go to the spreadsheet. To read our first article about the survey responses, click here.

College Information

Number of Colleges Applied to 

  • Students applied to anywhere from 1 to 7+ colleges early.
  • The median number of colleges was 2, and the average was 3.
  • 35% of students only applied to one college. 21% applied to 7 or more, and 17% applied to two colleges.
  • It appears that in general, students are either confident in their college choices and don’t feel the need to apply to many schools, or are unsure where they want to go and are casting a very wide net.

College Locations

  • Possible answers were Massachusetts, New England (excluding MA), Mid-Atlantic, Southeast, Midwest, Southwest, West – Mountain, West – Pacific, and Outside the US.
  • Each region was selected by at least one student, except for West – Mountain. There aren’t many prestigious schools in that area, so students were probably less motivated to apply there when they can already find many good schools in Massachusetts and New England.
  • Massachusetts and New England were the most frequently chosen, by far. 79% of students applied to a school in Massachusetts, and 52% applied to a school in another New England state.

Intended Majors

  • There were 29 responses and 20 unique majors.
  • STEM fields were the most popular, with 41% of students choosing a STEM major. 14% of all the majors were also biology-related. Three STEM majors were answered twice: Computer Science, Exercise/Sports Science, and Physics.
  • 28% of students chose a major in the humanities, and two students chose a major specifically in the arts. Political Science, which was included in the humanities category, was the most popular major: it was answered 4 times.
  • 14% of the majors were in the field of medicine – two Nursing and two Physical Therapy.
  • Two other majors were uncategorized (Criminal Justice and Accounting), and 10% of students were undecided.

Urban, Suburban, or Rural

  • 76% of students applied to at least one urban college.
  • 59% applied to a suburban college.
  • 28% applied to a rural college.

Types of Colleges

  • 52% of the respondents who applied early applied to one of the UMasses.
  • 31% applied to a Massachusetts state college.
  • 14% of early applicants applied to one or more Ivy League colleges.

Our final article will be about finances and the college application process itself.



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