Expectation for college attendance in the United States continues to rise as more jobs require degrees. This study aims to determine how parental expectations affect high school students in their decision to attend college. By examining parental expectations that were placed on current college students prior to and during the application period, we can determine the positive and negative outcomes of these expectations as well as the atmosphere they are creating. To test the hypothesis, an online survey was distributed to current ASU and Barrett, Honors College students regarding their experience with college applications and their parents' influence on their collegiate attendance. A qualitative analysis of the data was conducted in tandem with an analysis of several case studies to determine the results. These data show that parental expectations are having a significant impact on the enrollment of high school students in college programs. With parents placing these expectations on their children, collegiate enrollment will continue to increase. Further studies will be necessary to determine the specific influences these expectations are placing on students.
Honors colleges are recognizing the need for diversity in their student populations and are taking steps toward that end. However, disabled students are still underrepresented in honors collegiate student bodies. Through a series of open-ended questions posed to thirty-five students enrolled in Barrett, the Honors College at Arizona State University, this study will examine how experiences with family, school personnel, and peers during their grade school (K-12) years effect a student’s choice to enroll in an honors college. This study will briefly explore how the intersection of factors such as race/ethnicity, sex, gender, and disability impacted these experiences. Finally, implications for collegiate honors programs and for grade school teachers and the families of children with disabilities will be discussed. Areas for future research will be considered.