Year of Publication


Degree Name

Master of Arts (MA)

Document Type

Master's Thesis


Communication and Information



First Advisor

Dr. Brandi Frisby


This study seeks to explore the impact that admissions viewbooks have on students’ expectancies of an institution as well as their academic and social engagement. Because few studies exist on admissions viewbooks, the literature review seeks to establish a base for the importance of viewbooks in students’ college choice and their development of expectancies of their chosen institution, as well as the subsequent impacts of violated expectations on engagement and retention. Using both qualitative and quantitative methods, this study examines (1) the promises made by institutions in their viewbooks as found via textual analysis and (2) the impact of violated expectancies on academic and social engagement. Specifically, this study seeks information about the expectancies students have developed of the University of Kentucky, the degree to which those expectancies have been violated, and the impact of those violations on students’ academic and social engagement on UK’s campus. Findings suggest that UK is positively violating students’ expectancies, which in turn impacts engagement as related to several themes (i.e., faculty-to-student ratio, once-in-a-lifetime opportunities). Implications for instructors, the University of Kentucky, and marketing professionals are included, such as UK should continue its dedication toward developing an excellent and engaging first-year experience.

Digital Object Identifier (DOI)