Author ORCID Identifier

Date of Award


Degree Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Business Administration (DBA)



First Advisor

Dr. Satish Nargundkar

Second Advisor

Dr. Subhashish Samaddar

Third Advisor

Dr. Denish Shah


In recent years, university enrollment and market share have been discussed among administrators. With declining populations and increased educational pathways for students, the need to capture the attention of prospective students is of increased interest. At the same time, social media has become a significant factor in the lives of current and potentially future generations. This factor influences not only trends but also decision-making. As a result, higher education institutions must ensure a requisite social media presence and manage their social media reputation to impact potential students’ intent to enroll. This study explores these components and how one influences the other.

A quantitative exploratory study utilizing social media data was deployed for this research study. This allowed for the examination of the level of influence social media posts have on a student’s decision to apply to an institution of higher education. Social media sentiment of various institutions was used to develop a net sentiment score. This score was then compared to the number of applications received yearly. It was posited that the two items would be positively correlated. Regression, correlation, and time series analyses were used to explore the relationship between the variables.

This study contributes to practice and theory by identifying tools to assist institutions in monitoring social media sentiment, forecasting applicant pool size, and highlighting social media reputation as a statistically significant element in students’ college choices. The inclusion of social media sentiment as a factor in the information component of choice models adds a brick to the current literature around college choice. Therefore, this study provides a valuable contribution to understanding social media and its impact on higher education institutions’ reputation and applicant pool size.


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