Market segmentation is an important topic for higher education administrators and researchers. For segmenting the higher education market, we have to understand what factors are important for high school students in selecting a university. Extant literature has probed the importance of rational factors such as teaching staff, campus facilities, and quality of education. Less attention has been devoted to the relevance of emotional factors such as personal values. The aim of this paper is to suggest a segmentation approach based on integrating rational and emotional factors that prospective students value when selecting a university. We gather information from 21 focus groups and develop a survey applied to a sample of high school students. We find six segments characterized by distinct rational and emotional underlying factors that lead to a particular composition for each segment. The factors discussed in this research can be used as a guide for higher education managers to develop segmentation and communication plans. © 2010 Taylor & Francis.
- Higher education
- Market segmentation
- Rational and emotional factors