Dr. Christopher Morphew
Participation year
Project title

High School Students & the Web: Influences of family, peers, socioeconomic status & high school faculty on navigation & interpretation of college websites


Little research is performed as to how college websites play a role in the college choice process of high school students. This research is exploratory in nature because of the fact that there is limited research on how students navigate and understand college and university websites. The study aims to explore how rising high school seniors –who plan to attend a college/university– navigate and understand information on specific college websites. Based on previous research on the college choice process, it is expected that a students’ backgrounds (e.g., SES, personal interests, etc.) will influence what webpages they visit on these sites and their interpretation of the information on the websites. Four rising seniors were recruited to participate in the study. The students viewed three college/university websites for fifteen minutes each. A series of questions were asked prior to the students viewing the websites. The purpose of those questions were to get a better understanding of the students’ background (e.g., intended college major, parental information: socioeconomic status, students interest in college, etc.). After the student views the websites, a series of questions will be asked as to how they feel about how the college/university presented themselves through the website (e.g., diversity of the institution, academics, social/student life, etc.).

Jarvis  McCowin
Virginia Commonwealth