Honors Projects


Megan CarmenFollow


The college search process is an important time in the life of any student, and feeling a sense of belonging and inclusion through the admissions process is vital to ensuring student success in higher education. With COVID-19 forcing all admissions communications online, student connections were changed and student’s perception of belonging was altered. This confidential survey project used demographic, quantitative, and open-ended questions to understand student perceptions of belonging and inclusion during the online admissions process. Of 750 students contacted, 57 students responded to the demographic questions, 50 to the quantitative questions, and 17 students left in-depth responses about their experiences. Students indicated that they felt a sense of comfort and inclusion more than they felt they had established connections with peers, faculty, and staff during the admissions process. Common themes in the open-ended responses were a need for improvement with the transfer admissions process, enjoyment of the virtual information sessions, and overall enjoyment of the admissions process as a whole. Students also expressed feeling unsafe or underserved during the admissions process. This preliminary research begins the conversation of support for students undergoing an online college search process, but future research with a wider range of demographics, student responses, and years of data would be beneficial to fully understand how we can better create an environment of belonging and inclusion in a world of remote admissions processes.




Marine and Aquatic Biology

First Advisor

Dr. Margaret Weinberger

First Advisor Department


Second Advisor

Dr. Kevin Neves

Second Advisor Department

Biological Sciences

Third Advisor

Dr. Jessica Turos

Publication Date

Fall 12-7-2021