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Tracking the Decision-making of High Achieving Higher Education Applicants

The Sutton Trust & Department for Business Innovation & Skills. Tracking the Decision-making of High Achieving Higher Education Applicants. Author, London, 2012. Pages: 72.

This report examines the decision-making process of high achieving students (A level students) in the United Kingdom in regard to university applications. This analysis looks at both structural and individual factors, as well as their interaction, before and during the decision-making process. The choice of high achieving students on which institution to attend was mainly influenced by course and course content. However, while students who applied for the most selective institutions were also primarily influenced by the prestige and academic excellence of institutions and displayed higher levels of self-efficacy, those who chose not to apply to the most selective institutions relied to a higher extent in factors such as employment prospects upon graduation, cost of living, distance from home and the usefulness of the qualification to enter the labour market.

The Sutton Trust