Disillusioned students are at risk for dropping out. This study examined the relationship between prematriculation college understanding and freshman students' unrealized expectations. A knowledge measure was created to assess preen-rolled students' understanding of the academic, social, and environmental conditions of postsecondary institutions. Though levels of college knowledge were expected to be associated with lesser college disillusionment, the data revealed a complex relationship. Community college students with high levels of knowledge about community colleges were less disillusioned than those with less understanding. Similar relationships were not found for students attending public or private 4-year universities. Implications for academic advisors are discussed.

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Author notes

Estella Williams Chizhik is an Assistant Professor of Educational Psychology at the College of Education, San Diego State University, 5500 Campanile Dr., San Diego, CA 92182-1153. Her specializations are in applied educational psychology, teacher education, and multicultural education.

The Student Adaptation to College Questionnaire (SACQ) was &doubt;opyrighted in 1989 by Western Psychological Services. For more information contact WPS at 12031 Wilshire Boulevard, Los Angeles, CA 90025.

The lead developer of SACQ and The Anticipated Student Adjustment to College Questionnaire (ASACQ), Dr. Robert W. Baker, may be reached at the Department of Psychology, Clark University, Worcester, MA 01610. He can also be reached by E-mail: rbaker@clarku.edu.

The completion of this project is due to the support of Sandra Graham, Alexander Astin, Patricia McDonough, Walter Allen, and especially Alexander Chizhik; I thank all of them for their perseverance and wisdom. I also want to thank Sheila Lane, Lynette Williams, and Clarence Warren for helping me collect data. Finally, I want to thank Tina Henderson, Karen Lysaght, and April Taylor for their constructive feedback.