Cost of living becomes ever more important decision-making factor for students on business school websites

08 November 2022

Andrew Crisp, reviews some of the key findings from this year’s GenerationWeb study, looking at what students want on a school website.


Money has always been a factor in student decision-making, but is perhaps becoming even more important. Findings from this year’s GenerationWeb report, published by CarringtonCrisp and EFMD, suggest that cost of living increases and weighing more heavily on student’s choice of where to study.

Asked what information was most important to them on a business school website, 2241 students drawn from 31 nationalities, indicated that other than course information, 51% choose course fees, while 49% highlight living costs. Fees are selected by almost the same percentage as last year, but those selecting living costs are up from 42%. Living costs were only the fifth most important content sought in last year’s study. With inflation running at around 10% in a number of economies and energy costs rising significantly, it is not surprising that money is a key factor for prospective students.

The importance of money is further highlighted by the other issues selected as important on a business school website, scholarship availability, accommodation/housing and career services, all chosen by more than 40% of those taking part in the study. Accommodation is a large part of a student’s expenditure when studying, while scholarships may go some way to mitigating the growing costs of study. Career services are key as students seek to understand how they can get a better job on graduation to start repaying some of the costs of their studies.

Looking more widely, rankings remain the sixth most important piece of content sought by prospective students, chosen by 39% of respondents, with 30% looking for accreditation details.

However, while websites are undoubtedly important to support prospective student decision-making, 19% of this year’s respondents made little use of school websites when deciding where to study.

Photo by Karolina Grabowska


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