College choice refers to the steps students go through from the time they decide to go to college to the time they select a college to attend. This entry describes the prevailing model of college choice and the factors that influence students' decision making at each stage.

College Choice Model

Don Hossler and colleagues have identified three phases that make up the college choice process: predisposition, search, and choice. In the predisposition phase, a student makes the decision to attend a college. This part of the process can occur as early as elementary school, but typically occurs in middle school. In the search stage, a student examines information on colleges, determines which colleges to apply to, and then applies to a number of colleges. For students who ...

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