, Volume 47, Issue 7, pp 781-800
Date: 21 Mar 2006

How do students choose a university?: an analysis of applications to universities in Ontario, Canada

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This study uses a unique set of microdata on university applications to examine the role played by institutional attributes in choices made by graduating high school students between the 17 universities in the Province of Ontario, Canada. We estimate a rank-ordered logit model that uses all information contained in each applicant’s ranking of institutions. Applicants prefer universities that are closer to their homes, spend more on scholarships and teaching, and offer higher levels of non-academic student services. Smaller class sizes are preferred by female applicants but not by males. High levels of research activity discourage applications. Smaller, primarily undergraduate institutions suffer from a low placing in the annual national university rankings but larger universities do not.