Choice A: Associative Network Models
Meaya Amici, Courtney Binzen, Sammi Gebhardt, Alex Kotz, William Sharp
ISU Online Survey Data - What words come to mind when you think of ISU
Based off of the data from the online survey, these are the most popular words that
come to mind when students think of ISU. The most popular word that came to mind was
education. Following that were friendly, passion, home, and campus. Fun, big, and community
followed those. Overall, many students felt that ISU provided them with a great education while
making them feel welcome and at home. They liked a school where they feel that professors
care about them and want them to succeed.
ISU Online Survey Data - Why did you choose Illinois State in the end?
The online survey data showed these themes to be the most prevalent when people
explain why they came to campus. Largest, far and away was the low cost of tuition and help
from ISU for financial aid. Reasonably after that was the distance from home in that the school
was far enough to get away but not so far that the student was stranded from home. Then the
large selection of majors offered as well as pleasure at their high quality was the third most
popular reason. The remainder generally consisted of campus life namely the feel and the
interaction with other students, the campus tour as a prospective student, and being a large
school with a small school feel. The one outlier here was the quality of the education major. ISU
mainly attracts students by being an affordable school that is located a moderate distance from
students’ homes, and offers a large range of high quality degrees.
ISU Niche Data
After reviewing the niche data provided by ISU students as to why they preferred ISU,
the following themes were deemed the most prevalent. These themes come from primarily
reviewing the academic and overall niche data. The most important reason for many were the
professors who were seen as very knowledgeable and cared about their students. Others were
very happy with their particular major with repeated mentions of nursing and communications.
Additionally, the number of majors offered aas a whole were appreciated. Students also noted
the amount of opportunity provided to them by the school in the areas of careers and
internships. This was generally mentioned with either the prestige of an ISU degree or the help
provided by the career center. The latter half of students’ reasons noted that the classes were
challenging but fair as well as appreciation and pride in the colleges of education and business.
Iowa Niche Data
Based off of the data above, prospective students who were interested in attending The
University of Iowa, had many themes in common. Most of the students enjoyed the athletic
program especially the football program at Iowa. Many other students enjoyed the fact that the
football program was apart of the Big 10. Students also wanted to be close to friends and family
when choosing this school to attend. Prospective students also enjoyed the large size of the
campus as well as the campus in general. The course offerings range from pre med and
nursing, which allowed prospective students to narrow down the choice to The University of
Iowa.The application process was easy to complete and did not take up too much time. Finally
the university has an outstanding reputation that resonates among prospective students.
Mizzou Niche Data
Based off the data collected through the survey and the nice data, the themes found
below were the most common ones as to why students prefered Mizzou over all the other
schools they applied to. Mizzou is a school that is focused around tradition, but with a young,
progressive mentality on campus. Students were mostly attracted to the location of Mizzou
along with the antiquated beauty of the campus. In addition, the programs and opportunities
were also very sought after by students given the reputation of the school as a whole. Unlike
the students who prefered ISU, the students who prefered Mizzou loved how huge the campus
is. This is probably due to the fact that their athletic department is a part of the SEC which is a
powerhouse conference in college sports. Finally, Mizzou has a rich greek history that is among
one of the better known greek life societies in the nation.
NIU Niche Data
Based on the niche data for NIU, the main reason that was discussed by students that
explained why they chose NIU was for its location. Factors that had a smaller influence on the
decision to attend NIU was for their programs, the familiarity that the students already had with
the campus, and the fact that they had friends or family members attended the school in the
past. Factors that had a significantly smaller influence on the reason to chose NIU was the
diversity on the campus, the success rate of the students, the size of the school overall, and the
cost to attend.