LGBQ+ Students' College Search Processes: Implications for College Transitions
Author(s): Nguyen, D. J., Copeland, O. M. & Renn, K. A.
Citation: Nguyen, D. J., Copeland, O. M. & Renn, K. A. (2022). LGBQ+ Students' College Search Processes: Implications for College Transitions. Journal of The First-Year Experience & Students in Transition, 34(1), 43-60.
While much research has examined lesbian, gay, bisexual, and queer (LGBQ+) students' high school and college-going experiences, few studies have explored what LGBQ+ students consider during their college choice process. Utilizing Hossler and Gallagher's (1987) three-stage college choice model, this study analyzed 14 semistructured interviews with LGBQ+ students to investigate the specific factors influencing their college choice process. Our analyses identified that participants sought a diverse environment, LGBQ+-specific resource availability, and academic fit as prominent features in their search process. By expanding current understanding of the college choice process, the results of this study can inform practitioners' approach to recruiting and supporting LGBQ+ students. We conclude with implications for improving LGBQ+ student transitions to postsecondary education and for future research.