Study: Cost Causes Students To Say No To Top Choice Schools

OMAHA College freshmen are getting accepted to their first-choice schools, but deciding not to attend. A new survey of the nation's college freshmen showed that cost was a major factor in turning down their top choice.

UCLA's Higher Education Research Institute found that three-quarters of students are offered admission to their first-choice. When this past fall semester began, only 57% of those students were attending that school. According to the researchers, that's the lowest rate in the 39 years UCLA has done this survey.

Kevin Eagan, the institute's managing director, said the cost of attending college is the main reason. Almost half of the respondents said receiving financial aid was a crucial factor in why they enrolled where they did. That's an all-time high.

The cost of college has gone up in recent years.

Creighton University is listed as the #1 best value university in the Midwest by U.S. News' annual rankings. That same website shows the average cost after grants is $25,452.

According to, a "moderate budget" for an in-state public college this year is $22,826. The average "moderate budget" for a private college is much higher at $44,750.

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