The study analyzes the factors that lead elementary school students (grades 6-8) to general or vocational high schools. The effects of gender, SES, academic achievement, living in a rural/urban area as well as the effects of parental involvement on school choice (N = 866) used as independent variables in Canakkale, Turkey. There are clear differences among general high school students and vocational high school students regarding these variables. Contrary to the expectations, students from rural areas prefer general high schools to vocational schools. The study also found parental involvement may have an indirect effect on academic achievement. Overall, the study found that status attainment factors were more important than parental involvement variables on students' choice. (C) 2003 Elsevier Science Ltd. All rights reserved.