Date of Award

Fall 2018

Document Type

Honors Thesis



First Advisor

Dr. William Jones

Second Advisor

Mr. Scott Pohlson

Third Advisor

Mrs. Michelle Cwach


Cognitive Factors, Non-Cognitive Factors, Undergraduate Enrollment, Decision Making, Emotions


Prospective undergraduate students face a multitude of factors that can influence their enrollment decision. Some of these deciding factors are university-centered which may include cost and tuition fees, the availability of desired academic program(s), and the institution’s academic reputation. However, there are other factors that can have just as much significance and importance to a student: non-cognitive and emotional factors. This article highlights a rather large research gap surrounding the intersection of emotion and decision making in regards to undergraduate recruitment. Based on existing research of influential factors in prospective students’ decision making along with the review of the Admitted Students Survey by the University of South Dakota, it can be concluded that more emphasis should be placed on emotional, non-cognitive factors in future research and marketing opportunities in higher education.



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