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Press release content from Business Wire. The AP news staff was not involved in its creation.

New Survey: Student Confusion Selecting Majors Increases Higher Education Cost and Time to Earn Degree

October 14, 2019 GMT

RESTON, Va.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Oct 14, 2019--

Ellucian, the world’s leading provider of software and services built to power higher education, today published the findings of its new survey, “ Course Correction: Helping Students Find and Follow a Path to Success.” The Ellucian survey, conducted in partnership with Market Connections, queried 1,000 U.S. students currently enrolled in two- or four-year public and private college programs.

The survey found that college students, especially those in Generation Z, struggle to pick a major, which increases the time and cost associated with obtaining a degree. Many incoming students are not confident in their career path and almost two-thirds of students feel overwhelmed by the process of selecting a major. The result can be that students change their majors without understanding the ramifications, take unnecessary courses and delay their expected graduation, sometimes by multiple semesters.

Students are looking for more support when choosing a major, selecting courses that work towards completion and transferring from a two-year to a four-year institution. While students most often turn to advisors for help, pathways approaches can simplify choices for students by providing structured, clear paths through college coursework and on to the start of their careers. Additionally, personalized technology tools can ensure that students have clarity into their individual goals and the requirements needed to achieve them.

The right technology can help bring institutions into the digital future, both encouraging and augmenting human interaction to better support students as they work towards their goals. Email nudges and predictive analytics help advisors better serve students’ needs with more frequent and personalized communication. Students also showed interest in virtual “one-stop shops” for all of their registration, advising and other administrative needs and an online “what-if” tool for majors and degrees that allows them to best plan their path to completion under any given circumstances.

“Many students feel overwhelmed and confused about selecting a major, which ends up costing them serious time and money—and for some students a one semester delay could put them off the track to completion entirely,” said Ellucian Senior Vice President of Digital Transformation Kari Branjord. “It’s essential that institutions look at pathways approaches alongside technologies that scale the student-advisor relationship to help guide students as they work towards their personal successful outcomes.”

The Findings

Today’s college students are confused and anxious when it comes to selecting a major.

Changing majors increases the time and cost associated with obtaining a degree.

Students rely on advisors for support when choosing classes but could use more attention when transferring.

Students are finding value in pathway approaches and technologies that provide structure, clarity, and personalization.

To learn more, read the full survey report.

About Ellucian

Ellucian is the market leader charting the digital future of higher education with a portfolio of cloud-ready technology solutions and services. From student recruitment to workforce analytics; from fundraising opportunities to alumni engagement; Ellucian’s comprehensive suite of data-rich tools gives colleges and universities the information they need to lead with confidence.

Working with a community of more than 2,550 institutions in over 50 countries, Ellucian keeps innovating as higher education keeps evolving. Drawing on its comprehensive higher education business acumen and suite of services, Ellucian guides its customers through manageable, sustainable digital transformation—so that every type of institution and student can thrive in today’s fast-changing landscape. To find out what’s next in higher education solutions and services, visit Ellucian at www.ellucian.com.

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SOURCE: Ellucian

Copyright Business Wire 2019.

PUB: 10/14/2019 09:10 AM/DISC: 10/14/2019 09:10 AM