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A Profile Of 1997 Entering Transfer Students:
Marketing Research

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A Profile Of 1997 Entering Transfer Students:
Marketing Research

This report presents marketing research information from the 1997 entering transfer students at NC State. It is based on their responses to the survey given to new students during summer and fall orientation. Marketing research concerns the experiences new students had with the application process and also examines those factors students considered influential in their decision to attend NC State.

A total of 764 surveys (67% of the transfer students registered for fall 1997) were usable for this report. No significant differences were found between the survey group and the broader population of registered students; thus, the results may be regarded as representative of the entire Transfer class. Significant differences were found in answers to some questions, however, when gender, baccalaureate academic units, and/or ethnicity were considered.

The data obtained from the transfer orientation sessions were analyzed using standard statistical methods. Responses were tested to determine whether there were significant differences when gender, and/or ethnicity were considered. Analysis was also done across baccalaureate academic units, however, only those factors that influenced decisions to attend NC State are addressed in this report. A full reporting across all academic units is available on the web. All questions requiring categorical responses were analyzed using chi-square tests, and all questions with numerically coded responses were analyzed using either T-tests or one-way analysis of variance (ANOVA) with Duncan's multiple comparison procedure.


Marketing Research

Institutions Attended

Two-thirds of survey respondents (66.4%) indicated that they only attended one other institution prior to NC State (see Chart 1). Nearly one-quarter (23.8%) previously attended two schools, while one in ten (9.8%) indicated attending three or more institutions.

Chart 1: Number of Colleges Attended Prior to NC State

Factors Influencing Attendance Decision

Transfer students indicated the extent that any of nineteen factors influenced their decision to attend NC State. The scale used was: 5 = Very Strong Influence, 4 = Strong Influence, 3 = Moderate Influence, 2 = Weak Influence, and 1 = Very Weak Influence. Chart 2 illustrates the mean rating for each factor as well as the percent marking that factor as "single most important factor" in their decision to attend NC State.

Respondents recorded that availability of program had the strongest influence on their decision to attend NC State. They additionally indicated that location and academic reputation had strong influences on their decision. A second tier of influence contained the factors level of support for my intended major; recommended by a friend family member, teacher, counselor, etc.; cost; and contact with a current student.

Respondents listed "other" factors that influenced their decision to attend NC State. The overall mean for this item was 4.50, which gave this item the highest mean score of all 19 factors. There were, however, no significant differences for the "other" factor when gender, academic unit, and ethnicity were considered. Factors that respondents frequently listed in the "other" category varied but included: athletics, having friends/family in area, found employment in area, and ROTC/military assignment.

When examining responses by gender, it was found that significant differences (p < 0.01) occurred only on the factors of location and contact with a current student. For both of these factors female students rated the factors as more influential than did the male students.

Students rated three factors significantly different (p < 0.01) when looking across ethnic groups. African-American students rated publications of NC State and extracurricular opportunities as significantly more influential than did white students. Other minority students regarded attendance at a College Fair as more influential than did white students.

An ANOVA was run for this question, looking for significant differences among the baccalaureate academic units. On the factors academic reputation, location, availability of program, level of support for my intended major, campus visit prior to orientation, contact with a current student, and extracurricular opportunities, students from various baccalaureate academic units significantly differed (p < 0.01) in their influence ratings.

Chart 2: Factors Influencing Decision to Attend NC State

Single Most-Important Factor

After rating the importance of factors that affected their decision to attend NC State, transfer students picked the single-most influential factor in their decision (see Chart 2). The plurality of students chose availability of program (27.5%) as the single most important factor followed by location (22.5%), and academic reputation (19.7%). No significant differences were found between males and females or among ethnic groups.

Satisfaction with Admissions and Financial Aid Processes

The vast majority of students reported being at least moderately satisfied with both the university admissions process (85.7%) and their departmental admissions process (89.1%). Fewer respondents (although still the majority, 76.2%) marked that they were also either "very" or "moderately" satisfied with the university's process for applying for financial aid (see Chart 3).

Chart 3: Satisfaction with University & Departmental Admissions, and University Financial Aid Processes

Transfer of Courses

Most transfer students indicated that the number of courses which actually transferred to NC State were either about what they expected or more than they expected. Eight in ten (81.7%) said they transferred at least the number of credits their previous institution led them to believe would transfer. Similarly, 87.8% said they transferred at least the number of credits NC State led them to believe would transfer.

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