College students’ satisfaction with their campuses depends greatly on how much they wanted to go to those schools in the first place, suggests a national survey of students by Noel-Levitz Inc., an Iowa City, Iowa-based consulting firm that advises colleges on student recruitment.
The survey draws on responses from more than 600,000 students at more than 800 two- and four-year private and public colleges in the United States from 2004 to 2007. The survey asked questions about how satisfied students were and whether they would enroll at the same campus if they were to choose again.
The firm found that more than 60 percent of students attending their first-choice colleges—whether they were two- or four-year schools, or public or private—were satisfied with their choices, and two-thirds or more would re-enroll. But both satisfaction and inclination to hypothetically re-enroll declined by more than 10 percentage points for students attending their second-choice colleges, and by more than 30 percentage points for students attending their third-choice colleges.