CAHSS Faculty Articles

Title

The Influence of Electronic Word-of-Mouth on College Search and Choice

Department

Department of Writing and Communication

Publication Date

Fall 2017

Publication Title

College and University Journal

ISSN or ISBN

0010-0889

Volume

92

Issue

4

Abstract

This study used an online questionnaire to survey first-time, non-transfer undergraduate freshmen students at the University of Miami to determine the perceived influence of electronic word-of-mouth (eWOM) on their college search and choice compared to that of traditional word-of-mouth (WOM). In addition, eWOM’s influence was examined during the search and choice phases of the three-phased college choice process and when consumed across various forms of social media. The results of this study suggested that traditional WOM had a greater perceived influence on students’ college choice than eWOM. The results also suggested that eWOM had a greater perceived influence during the search phase than during the choice phase and a greater perceived influence when consumed on online reviews/forums than when consumed on social networking sites. A recommendation for further study follows.

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