An Examination of Marketing Factors that Influence Nontraditional College Student Enrollment Decisions

Jianping Landrum, Purdue University


The purpose of this study was to examine marketing factors that influence the decisions of working professionals to enroll as nontraditional students in the University of their Choice. Research has shown that factors such as affordability, access, and availability matter to nontraditional students. Marketing campaigns have often focused on these three factors, perhaps to the exclusion of other factors that may be equally important and compelling in helping working professionals decide to return to college for an advanced degree. This research explored seven marketing mix factors (Price, Promotion, Physical Evidence, People, Product, Process, and Place) and the extent to which they influenced decisions and choices made by nontraditional college students. The sample for this research consisted of professionals employed by companies affiliated with Oerlikon Fairfield Manufacturing, Oscar Winski manufacturing, and Thyssenkrupp Sorting Company. A pilot study was conducted with a small representative sample to clarify and refine questions, and thus, enhance the validity and reliability of the survey instrument. A hard copy of the survey was distributed by the Human Resources Department in each company to approximately 300 employees. Factor analysis and other analytical tools were used to identify those factors that influenced the perceptions and choices made by nontraditional students. This research presented recommendations for improving marketing strategies that target nontraditional students.




Mohler, Purdue University.

Subject Area

Marketing|Higher Education Administration|Higher education

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