Electronic Theses and Dissertations

Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Ph.D. in Education

First Advisor

Phillis George

Second Advisor

Amy E. Wells Dolan

Third Advisor

Stephen Monroe


University of Mississippi

Relational Format



This phenomenological study provides qualitative data in the areas of university image, campus visits, and college choice. The purpose of the study was to examine the value of university image and campus visits in students’ college choices. Twenty matriculated freshmen at the University of Mississippi who participated in campus visits as prospective students and who applied for admission in the months of October through April were selected via purposeful sampling to participate in open-ended interviews about the images that they hold of the university, their campus visit experiences, and their college choice processes. The data collected show that students place great value on university image and campus visits in their college choices. Three themes emerged in this study: (a) college choice influences, which include university image, campus visits, and institutional factors, all of which influenced students’ college choices; (b) college choice influencers, which include members of the UM community, taxpayers, and non-stakeholders that influenced students’ college choices; and (c) students’ feelings. The perceptions and experiences that students shared illustrate the overlap in factors contributing to university image, campus visits, and college choice as students identified influences, influencers, and feelings in all of those areas.


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