Highlights of Student Orientation Survey


Northern’s natural environment, cost, and proximity to home are the three most important factors that led new students to choose NMU, according to the 2003 orientation survey. While these factors have consistently topped the list over the past five years, there have been two noticeable shifts in how much influence they exert on students. For example, 11 percent of new students surveyed this year cited “close to home” as an important factor. But back in 1998, that figure exceeded 30 percent.


Moving in the opposite direction is the issue of cost. The percentage who indicated cost was important in the selection process increased from about 9 percent in 1998 to more than 15 percent this year. Students had an opportunity to select up to three factors that weighed in their decision. When asked specifically if Northern’s rank as one of the lowest in the state for tuition and room and board rates was important, about 74 percent either agreed or strongly agreed.


Survey results reveal that new students this year were more likely to first learn about Northern through friends, parents or high school counselors than other sources. While these same people have some influence on their decision to attend NMU, the campus visit is becoming increasingly important in the selection process. When asked which skills students thought they could use help developing, writing papers was the frontrunner, followed by taking notes and managing time.


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Updated: April 23, 2004