As college decision deadlines approach, thousands of students across the U.S. are making their final choices about where they want to study. Students often consider factors like price, size and professional outcomes, but according to a recent paper published in sociology journal Youth and Society, students also need to consider if their future school could make them depressed.
The study, conducted by assistant professor Noli Brazil from the University of California Davis and assistant professor Matthew Andersson from Baylor University, discovered that where students choose to pursue their degree can have a significant impact on their mental health.
Brazil and Anderson analyzed data from 1,453 students before and after they started college. Their research found that about 50 percent of students chose to attend a college of "lesser" academic esteem relative to one's high school — a phenomenon known as "undermatching." On average, these students who undermatched presented a 27 percent increase in symptoms of depression and had lower self-esteem.