With Their Whole Lives Ahead of Them - have children
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"With Their Whole Lives Ahead of Them" is based on a survey including a nationally-representative sample of 614 22-to-20-year-olds who have at least some secondary education. Interviews were conducted from May 7 to June 24, 2009 using both landline and cellular telephones, and respondents had the choice of completing the interview in English or Spanish. The margin of error for the report is plus or minus 4.8 percentage points. However, it is higher when comparing subgroups or question items that weren't asked of all respondents. The survey was preceded by five focus groups conducted in sites across the country.
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Survey data by children at home
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No children (N=268)Have children (N=261)Total
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Q9. Being as realistic as you can, which do you think is more likely to happen in the next ten years?I will be on track towards a successful career88%86%88%
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I am not sure if I will be closer to a successful career9%12%10%
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Don’t know3%1%2%
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Q10a. Please tell me if you agree or disagree with each statement-- In the long run, you will make more money if you have a college degree.Strongly agree64%64%64%
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Somewhat agree21%23%22%
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Somewhat disagree8%8%8%
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Strongly disagree5%3%4%
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Don’t know1%1%2%
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Q10d. Please tell me if you agree or disagree with each statement-- College is not for everyone – some people just don’t like school.Strongly agree51%49%50%
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Somewhat agree38%39%39%
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Somewhat disagree6%6%6%
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Strongly disagree4%6%5%
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Q10e. Please tell me if you agree or disagree with each statement-- I know many people who make a good living who do not have a college degree.Strongly agree42%40%41%
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Somewhat agree36%40%37%
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Somewhat disagree15%12%14%
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Strongly disagree6%8%7%
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Don’t know0%0%1%
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Q12. Please tell me which statement comes closer to your own view, even if neither is exactly right. In this economic climate it is really essential to have a college degree58%46%54%
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Because of the economic climate, everyone is having a hard time getting a job, so having a college degree doesn't really help that much40%52%45%
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Don’t know2%1%1%
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Q13. Please tell me which statement comes closer to your own view, even if neither is exactly right.If there were plenty of good jobs available without an advanced degree, I probably would not have gone to school after high school13%13%14%
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I would still make the decision to go to school because what you learn there is so important87%85%86%
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Don’t know1%1%1%
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Q15. Do you think that currently, the vast majority of people who are qualified to go to college have the opportunity to do so, or do you think there are many people who are qualified to go but don’t have the opportunity to do so?Have the opportunity to go33%29%34%
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Do not have the opportunity to go62%67%62%
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Don’t know3%3%3%
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Q16. In your circle of friends, do you think most people are really impressed by someone who graduates from college, is it something they look down at, or is it just something routine and expected?Most people are really impressed24%44%33%
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Something they look down at1%4%3%
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Just something routine and expected72%51%62%
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Don’t know3%2%2%
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Q17. Which of the following applies to you? For my career goals…My degree is all I need27%26%29%
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I need another degree besides my degree61%66%61%
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I don’t even need my degree11%8%9%
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Don’t know1%1%1%
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Q18a. Here are some statements that may or may not describe your own reasons for continuing your education after high school. Please tell me how close it comes to describing you-- I went there because I really enjoy being in school.Very close32%32%32%
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Somewhat close35%37%36%
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Not too close13%9%11%
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Not close at all19%21%21%
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Q18b. Here are some statements that may/may not describe your reasons for continuing education after high school. Tell me how close it comes to describing you-- I went there because my parents always instilled in me the importance of higher education.Very close53%45%51%
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Somewhat close24%27%26%
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Not too close11%10%9%
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Not close at all12%17%14%
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Q18c. Here are some statements that may/may not describe your reasons for continuing education after high school. Tell me how close it comes to describing you-- I went there because I really didn’t know what I wanted to do after high school.Very close20%24%22%
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Somewhat close25%21%23%
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Not too close15%14%14%
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Not close at all40%40%41%
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Don’t know0%0%
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Q18d. Here are some statements that may/may not describe your own reasons for continuing your education after high school. Please tell me how close it comes to describing you-- I went there because the career I want specifically requires it.Very close47%53%50%
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Somewhat close22%23%22%
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Not too close11%9%10%
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Not close at all19%15%18%
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Don’t know0%0%
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Q18e. Here are some statements that may or may not describe your own reasons for continuing your education after high school. Please tell me how close it comes to describing you-- I went there because most of my friends were going.Very close13%6%9%
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Somewhat close14%12%13%
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Not too close18%17%17%
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Not close at all55%65%60%
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Don’t know0%0%
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Q18f. Here are some statements that may/may not describe your reasons for continuing education after high school. Please tell me how close it comes to describing you-- I wanted to learn more about the world and college is the place to do it.Very close33%28%31%
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Somewhat close37%35%35%
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Not too close13%11%13%
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Not close at all17%25%21%
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Don’t know0%0%
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Q19. If you attended more than one school, please think about the first one you attended. To start, which type of school was that? Was it a…? [Base: Those who attendend more than one type of school after high school.]Trade or vocational school or program6%10%9%
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Two year or community college50%65%53%
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Four year college43%26%38%
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Don’t know0%0%
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Q20. Was this a public or a private school?Public76%81%79%
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Private22%18%20%
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Don’t know1%1%1%
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Q22. Which comes closer to your view: [Base: Those who waited a year or more to begin school.]It would have been easier for me overall to have started classes immediately after high school30%63%50%
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Waiting before starting classes was the right choice, I would not have been ready for it70%36%49%
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Don’t know1%1%
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Q24a. Please tell me if each of the following is a major/minor/or not a reason at all why you selected this school-- The overall academic reputation of the school.Major reason46%44%46%
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Minor reason25%29%27%
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Not a reason at all29%27%27%
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Don’t know0%0%0%
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Q24b. Please tell me if each of the following is a major/minor/or not a reason at all why you selected this school-- Recommendations from friends or family members.Major reason28%26%26%
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Minor reason31%28%32%
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Not a reason at all41%46%42%
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Don’t know1%0%
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Q24c. Please tell me if each of the following is a major/minor/or not a reason at all why you selected this school-- It was conveniently located to where I lived or worked.Major reason44%61%53%
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Minor reason21%18%20%
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Not a reason at all35%20%27%
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Q24d. Please tell me if each of the following is a major/minor/or not a reason at all why you selected this school-- The tuition and fees were affordable.Major reason52%62%57%
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Minor reason26%21%23%
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Not a reason at all21%18%19%
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Q24e. Please tell me if each of the following is a major/minor/or not a reason at all why you selected this school-- I could specialize or major in the exact subject I was interested in.Major reason53%56%54%
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Minor reason24%20%22%
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Not a reason at all22%24%23%
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Don’t know0%0%
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Q24f. Please tell me if each of the following is a major/minor/or not a reason at all why you selected this school-- It had a class schedule that worked with my schedule.Major reason37%53%44%
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Minor reason23%21%23%
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Not a reason at all39%24%33%
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Don’t know0%0%
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Q24g. Please tell me if each of the following is a major/minor/or not a reason at all why you selected this school-- I wanted to live away from home.Major reason20%19%19%
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