Theses and Dissertations

Issuing Body

Mississippi State University


King, Stephanie B.

Committee Member

Wiseman, William M.

Committee Member

Stumpf, Arthur D.

Committee Member

Davis, James E.

Date of Degree


Document Type

Dissertation - Open Access


Community College Leadership

Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D)


College of Education


Department of Educational Leadership


The objective of this study is to determine the factors that affect recruitment in community colleges and how community colleges can be competitive in the recruitment process. In recent years, community colleges have become more competitive in their tuition rates, course schedules, program offerings, and athletics. Therefore, community college recruiters are given the difficult task of vying for top students and athletes. Additionally, with the current economic situation, more students are returning to school to acquire an education or a trade so that they can have an advantage when applying for jobs. As a result, colleges are challenged to find more ways to attract students to their school. The research was conducted using a questionnaire that surveyed high school seniors over the age of 18 in order to determine what factors come into play when they make their choice of college to attend. Cost of attendance, course offerings and schedules, program availability, influence of others, location of the college, family income, and scholarships and financial were investigated. The top 3 college choice factors, as determined by this study, were financial aid, cost of college, and interest in particular major or study. Family income is associated with most of the college choice influences, as it is listed as having a significant influence on 8 of the 11 college choice factors listed in this study. Students’ GPA is associated with 5 of the 11 college choice factors. Finally, students’ ACT and Parent Education are significant to four of the eleven college choice factors listed in this study. On the opposite end of the spectrum, gender and race are seldom associated with college factors.