Survey: Students Would Skip Applying to a College Based on Health and Wellness Offerings
WASHINGTON, DC – A new survey conducted in October 2015 by Harris Poll on behalf of the Partnership for a Healthier America (PHA) among over 400 high school students finds that campus health and wellness offerings may play a significant role in where prospective students apply to college.
Based on the responses of high school students planning to go to college, nearly 1 in 5 (18 percent) would be likely or extremely likely to change their decision to apply to a certain college or university based on the health and wellness offerings on campus.
“From academics to campus culture to cost, high school students have a lot to consider when applying to college,” says PHA CEO Lawrence A. Soler. “We are pleased, but not surprised, to see health and wellness ranking as one of students' priorities.”
In particular, students noted the importance of campus recreation facilities and quality on-campus programs like physical fitness classes, cooking classes and wellness education opportunities. Nearly 1 in 4 (23 percent) believe that access to these services and amenities were absolutely essential when deciding where to apply.
The survey results also show that just over half (51 percent) of female high school students planning to go to college find access to healthy food options in campus dining facilities either absolutely essential or very important when deciding where to go to college.
Since physical wellbeing and the availability of nutritious options is a growing concern for incoming freshmen, many colleges and universities have joined PHA's Healthier Campus Initiative (HCI) to make healthier choices easier for students, faculty and staff.
By joining as a partner of the HCI, each campus has committed to meet 23 guidelines — developed in collaboration with some of the nation's leading academics, experts and thought leaders on campus wellness — around food and nutrition, physical activity and programming.
“These findings only help to underscore the importance of PHA's Healthier Campus Initiative and we look forward to expanding the effort in the months and years ahead,” says Soler.
The program was launched in 2014 and now serves more than one million students, faculty and staff across the country. For more information on PHA’s Healthier Campus Initiative, visit ahealthieramerica.org/campuses.
This survey was conducted online within the United States by Harris Poll on behalf of The Partnership for a Healthier America from October 13-23, 2015 among 1,133 youths ages 8-18, among which 458 are currently in high school, and 442 plan to go to college. This online survey is not based on a probability sample and therefore no estimate of theoretical sampling error can be calculated.
The Partnership for a Healthier America (PHA) is devoted to working with the private sector to ensure the health of our nation's youth by solving the childhood obesity crisis. In 2010, PHA was created in conjunction with — but independent from — First Lady Michelle Obama's Let's Move! effort. PHA is a nonpartisan nonprofit organization that is led by some of the nation’s most respected health and childhood obesity experts. PHA brings together public, private and nonprofit leaders to broker meaningful commitments and develop strategies to end childhood obesity. Most important, PHA ensures that commitments made are commitments kept by working with unbiased, third parties to monitor and publicly report on the progress our partners are making. For more information about PHA, please visit www.aHealthierAmerica.org and follow PHA on Twitter @PHAnews.