As the population of potential college students declines due, in part, to lower birth rates and other barriers to entry, the pressure has increased on colleges of agriculture to recruit more effectively. To be successful in recruitment, colleges must understand what factors influence today’s students — Gen Z students — when deciding on a college. This census study surveyed 1,493 students admitted to the University of Missouri’s College of Agriculture, Food & Natural Resources, comparing matriculants with non-matriculants. Both groups reported “opportunities after graduation” and “preparation for employment” among the most influential factors when selecting a college. Both groups reported “prestige of the university” and “competitiveness of admissions standards” among the least influential. Non-matriculants’ overall most influential factor was “costs.” Both groups ranked “parents/guardians” as the significant person who was most influential on their decision to attend a particular college. For both groups, “degree program (major) website” was the most commonly used source of information, but both groups found “visit to campus” most influential. “TV, radio, newspaper, etc.” were used least and found least influential by both groups. Overall, Gen Z students admitted to the College of Agriculture, Food & Natural Resources are primarily concerned with the return on investment that a college degree brings, rather than being admitted to a prestigious, highly ranked institution.