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Isabel Vargas-Hurlston presented at The Sixth Polygence Symposium of Rising Scholars. Interested in the next Symposium? Fill out the interest form here for more information.

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Polygence Scholar2021
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Isabel Vargas-Hurlston

Notre Dame San Jose High SchoolClass of 2023



  • 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 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.