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The Community College Choice Process: Why New Hampshire Students Decide to Attend an Out-of-State Community College

Daniel M Richer, University of Nebraska - Lincoln


With the large number of higher education and post-secondary options in the United States, the decision-making process for students is understandably complex. Numerous personal and institutional characteristics can influence the path a student decides to follow, and ultimately where they decide to attend. In a time where there is regional decline in population, particularly in the high school aged population, understanding how students make their college decision is becoming increasingly important for admission offices and enrollment management professionals, particularly those in the Northeast. The purpose of this study is to learn about the college choice decision of a very specific population that is declining in a Massachusetts community college: full-time, first-time, traditional age college students who are from New Hampshire. While this community college has historically had a high percentage of New Hampshire residents, there has been a significant decline in their numbers between 2013 and 2017; during this timeframe, this specific demographic has gone from 100 students to 59, representing a -41% change. A change of this magnitude will have an impact on institutional budget, financial health, workforce size, and academic offerings if this is not corrected.

Subject Area

Community college education|Higher Education Administration|Higher education

Recommended Citation

Richer, Daniel M, "The Community College Choice Process: Why New Hampshire Students Decide to Attend an Out-of-State Community College" (2018). ETD collection for University of Nebraska - Lincoln. AAI13418784.