Go to Polygence Scholars page
Isabel Vargas-Hurlston's cover illustration
Polygence Scholar2021
Isabel Vargas-Hurlston's profile

Isabel Vargas-Hurlston

Notre Dame San Jose High SchoolClass of 2023Sunnyvale, California

About

Projects

  • "How physical tours impact college decision-making and student success" with mentor Shannon (June 29, 2022)
  • "How physical tours impact college decision-making and student success" with mentor Evan (Working project)

Project Portfolio

How physical tours impact college decision-making and student success

Started Apr. 21, 2022

Abstract or project description

Inspired by my own experiences deciding where to go to college, I investigated the correlation between a student's college tour experiences and their satisfaction with their choice of school. To conduct the study, I wrote and sent out a survey to current college students asking them to rate different aspects of their experiences when touring the college that they attend, as well as their overall satisfaction with their school of choice. Most questions on the survey were on a likert scale, for easy conversion into numerical values, and questions probed into the perception of the food, campus, surroundings, students, and more. The survey was sent out the the psychology departments of ten different universities, and responses were recorded through Google forms. The data collected was then analyzed for correlation to student satisfaction using a Spearman correlation test in R. The results showed that most aspects of a tour are not indicative of student satisfaction (not correlated) except for the weather, with r(18) = .438 , p =.037, indicating some correlation between weather and student satisfaction. With only 35 responses to the survey, further research can be done. However, the weather correlation observed is an interesting observation that could change the way the colleges recruit students, and how students narrow down their college list. (Note-I presented my project at the Symposium of Rising Scholars, and have submitted those slides. However, I have also written a brief summary of my work that I may attempt to submit for publication soon. Both projects are attached.)

Project Portfolio

How physical tours impact college decision-making and student success

Started June 25, 2021

Abstract or project description

Many factors affect which colleges students apply to; some of them less obvious than others. It is beneficial to both students and universities to understand how experiences, expectations, and other factors can result in biased decision-making, so that students can make a more informed and conscientious choice about which school(s) they believe will best prepare them for success. Specifically, it is common for students to visit colleges that they are considering applying to, but we do not know how these visits may introduce bias or disprove/reinforce impressions of universities gained by word-of-mouth or online information. This project will investigate the impact of college tours on which schools students apply to and attend, through a series of surveys answered by current university students. These surveys will assess the weight students place on various factors affecting the tour experience, if they were able to tour colleges, and how much these factors actually affect the college experience. This information will be analyzed through additional questions about demographics and preconceptions formed before the tour. Surveys will also investigate how other aspects of a college, not conveyed in a physical tour, may affect a student’s success once they attend. The findings of this project will help students determine which university is the best fit for them and help universities target the students who are more likely to attend and achieve success at their institution.