The majority of today’s incoming college students are members of Generation Z, a.k.a. “zoomers.” As digital natives born between the mid-1990s and early 2010s, Gen Z students have high expectations of schools’ technical wit and specific preferences for their college experience.
For example, compared to millennials, zoomers prefer more career-based programs and less traditional degree paths.
Additionally, according to ECMC Group, Gen Z’s are mostly interested in programs focused on skills development and career preparation. 44% of high school students say landing a solid job is a top priority, with 50% citing future costs as a concern.
Some of the ways Gen Z’s search for colleges and study programs include:
Research shows that parents’ level of influence varies across different demographic segments. Lower-income students are less likely to rely on parental support than higher income students.
Additionally, higher income students rely on their parents especially if they have been able to do well in their careers.
While, for lower income students they might look for maybe a relative or guardian who knows well concerning a certain career. But also they might still do this while seeking advice from their parents.
The pandemic accelerated Gen Z’s adoption of virtual tours, helping them become a staple of today’s recruitment experience. Whereas in 2020, less than half or surveyed students had attended a virtual tour, by 2021 to 2022, 75% had done the same.
Virtual tours play a central role in Gen Z’s college search since they cater to their desire for self-directed, flexible and easily accessible sources.
Additionally, virtual tours are also more cheaper and convenient unlike physical tours.
Financial concerns remain the top factor in students’ choice of college. Students choose colleges that have programs which they or their family can afford.
For example, some students prefer public universities or colleges as their fees are subsidized, unlike the private ones where the fees may be too expensive.
However, their is an interesting trend in other factors that students consider when choosing a school: they now place more weight on their campus experience than they did at the start of the pandemic.
This factor may involve the location, this means that many Gen Z prefer colleges and universities that are in urban areas or big cities.
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