This Is AuburnElectronic Theses and Dissertations

An Examination of Factors Influencing African-American Students' Choice to Attend Predominately White Institutions




Norwood, Melvin

Type of Degree



Education Foundation, Leadership, and Technology


The purpose of this study was to examine the factors that influence African American college students’ decisions to attend an HBCU or a PWI 4-year institution. Differences among African Americans in factors influencing the college choice process were examined by gender and parents’ level of education. The study was designed to gain a better understanding of how African Americans make decisions about higher education. Moreover, this study was meant to increase understanding of the influences on African American students’ choice to attend HBCUs or PWIs. The data analyzed in the study were collected by the Cooperative Institutional Research Program (CIRP). Students who completed the Freshman Survey, but were not African-American students were excluded from this study. The top factor was the academic reputation of the school, followed by indications that graduates of the school get good jobs. Social reputation and low tuition were also important factors. The least important factor was being advised by a private counselor. The three least important factors were probably rated as such because they did not apply to a large percentage of the students. Specifically, only a small number of students received the advice of a private guidance counselor, so most students rated this factor as unimportant.